Artists inspired by the City Itself

It seemed appropriate that I begin my research into the city by looking at artists that have used it as a source of inspiration for their work. Seeing what other artists have produced within this topic is highly influential. I came across the work of Leonid Afremov, a russian artist who portrays scenes from cities using an incredibly vibrant colour palette.


leonid afremov

I am drawn in by the partial realism within the work and how he has managed to portray an accurate scene from the city without using realistic colours. His work is very striking and to me makes me think about the vibrant fast pace life of the city itself. It makes me think of the more glamorous side to city life and the fast pace movement of the city. However, this image also makes me think about people wishing that the city really was how it was sold to tourists. There is only one figure within the painting which makes me think of the loneliness that can be felt by individuals in cities. People on the outskirts of society would maybe wish that the city was this colourful and enjoyable but for many it isn’t. Leonid Afremov for me has managed to capture city life accurately, he has produced a piece that is open to your own interpretation and that you can choose to view as you wish. The Vibrancy is highly inspiring to me and I find it terribly interesting that even though this piece is painted in bright and stereotypically joyful colours, I still thought about the lone figure. This is something I could definitely experiment with within my own work.


elena romanova

I was drawn to Elena’s work because of its simplicity. It made me feel that my artwork did not have to be massively complicated or in detail to be successful. Her work is very minimalist but accurately captures the highlights and tourist attractions of a wide variety of cities. The Dripping Ink effect is something I would like to employ, even if it is only within my sketchbook work. Her work makes me think about the fact that cities are not everlasting. I started to think about the future of the cities and what will happen when the buildings start to crumble away etc. I like the simplicity of the wash over wax crayon effect, a child like technique used by a professional.  Elena’s work is visually stunning and when read into, highly thought-provoking.



I was highly amazed when I first saw the work of Fabio Giampietro. He produces distorted aerial views of cities that give the viewer an insight into the part of the city that we as humans on the ground don’t really see. This got me thinking about the topic of “The Hidden City” and how the tops of buildings are hidden away from us. Especially now as technology advances, so many people walk around the city looking down at their phones etc that they rarely even look up to notice the building details above a high street shop for example. Fabio’s work also gives me a valuable insight into how people in planes or birds in the sky may be looking at the city. His work also makes me want to know what is hidden down there within his city, what is happening. Vice versa, it makes me think about what I am missing out on that is happening on the roofs of buildings and so on.



Klibansky’s points of departure are architecture and the city, particularly the densely populated urban environments of the 21st Century. A work of art by Klibansky usually consists of 300 to 600 different images that together, produce a new, intriguing and dynamic world. This made me think about the use of layering or drawing on top of photographs. I enjoy creating mixed media artwork and it is something that I would like to explore within this term.

The city is a point of interest for so many artists, but it is such a vast topic and there are so many routes I could decide to go down when thinking about creating art with a city theme.


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