Friday, 30 May 2014


Under The Bridge, C print edition of 3, 120 x 80 cm
  This artist's photographs have been described as love letters to the cities he encounters. In this complicated tangle of image and colour we need to take time to read the small print  - not easy on a computer screen when the original photograph spreads out to a mighty 80 x 120cm.

Where to start looking? At a bridge, a tree, a pedestrian, a tower? Where do I stand in relation to all that?  Do I playfully enjoy the patterns, sweep down those curves, look up to those tiny tower windows?

Lyubimkin's lens is a magnifying glass scrutinising the things our naked eye cannot see. I become fascinated by seed pods dangling from the bare branches. Each has a husky, dusky  covering. They remind me of baubles hung on a Christmas tree. They stare out like the faces of a pocket watch on a chain anchored in a grandfather's jacket.  

The colouring is intriguing. The artist borrows from the old technique of tinting images but uses a modern palette. To the right the myriad colours stream out for our inspection, tidy, orderly and irresistible.  

"'Rolling out the bridges and streets under our feet like carpets, (Alexey Lyubimkin) invites us in to become an important part of the picture, till finally we feel at home". 

Leonardo Bridge digital print 40 x 72cm

And here is another bridge, at first sight something comfortable and familiar - except that it is a less a photograph of a bridge, more a photograph of weather you can step into. The light  makes the waterside weeds and flowers shimmer, the grass is laid out like a patterned carpet mottled with shade. And I am reminded how often representational art dives deep into the viewer's memory and makes our choices for us: this bridge is very like the one my mother and her sister and brothers walked across thousands of time to and from their village school. 

Finally Harmony, centred on a familiar style of architecture, terraced gentility, a college perhaps, with private grounds offering sturdy benches on which to languish, read, meditate, argue and possibly sip a cool glass of white wine? Meanwhile colours we didn't even know were there stream by, pushed apart by the delicate lacery of trees, fragile trees but too strong to be argued with.
Harmony, C print edition of 3, 120 x 64 cm

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