A long history of photographic image-making and international travel inspires the Urban Art and Design Collection. These versatile designs represent a creative synthesis of the cities I know best. Philadelphia, New York, London and Barcelona.
Each one is a modern, world-class city with its own unique identity. Each with their own specific history and distinct vibes, they are places I have soaked up like a sponge.
Mixing the modern with the old, a range of techniques and subject matter form the basis for this collection.
For example I work with old photographs shot on film. I also use historical photographic techniques like cyanotype, a process invented in 1842 that renders the image in a deep Prussian blue.
Patterns might be derived from old stone carvings and architectural features. Influences also come from the environs of the city. A traveling circus, gas station, diner or roadside bar all fascinate me. I'm from the suburbs, after all.
This collection really celebrates my first forays in photography, dating all the way back to 1980, the year I began studying photojournalism at University.
My idea has been to transform those raw images and concepts into coordinated designs that have a modern and contemporary feel. My intention is to evoke a feeling very specific to modern living, being a bit edgy but with a throwback to times gone by.
Another landmark for me in 1980 was my first trip to London, for a study abroad program. A few years later, I ended up living there, and so was able to capture the spirit of that era on film.
I had a full darkroom in my home in those days. That equipment followed me on all my travels, but I never had the dedicated space to set up like that again.
I finally donated the equipment to my local arts school in Spain. I found the perfect home for it, since I can use the space where it is now installed.
These days I am back to the old alternative processes, and new ones like anthotype (with flowers) are next. I can do those on my terrace, completely without any darkroom, working with plants from my garden.
More and more I find that non-digital techniques are romancing me and taking me in entirely new directions nowadays. So whether it is photographic in origin, or entirely handmade, there is something definitely nice about stepping away from the screen.
New patterns and designs are emerging all the time.