By: Christina Tian Qiu, Seraphin Gallery Resident
Paul Fabozzi is a New York based artist whose most recent series of work explores ideas of time and place through architectural abstraction. His paintings, in the Site Translation series, are documentations of his travels throughout various cities. From New York City, to Rome, to Istanbul, and Rio de Janeiro, Fabozzi creates a visual language that dissects the urbanscapes of each metropolitan location.
Working from source photographs and memory, Fabozzi explains that he is "attempting to dissolve the (linguistically determined) dichotomies between external and internal, organic and geometric, presentness and memory, thought and feeling." By bridging these binaries, Fabozzi reimagines the data from a city into seemingly abstract works that holistically represent the experience of walking, living, and seeing through a pictorial reality.
Each of his paintings in Site Translations examine varying layers of transparency and weight. The works are reminiscent of blueprints with alternating layers of grids, parallel vectors, intersections of geometrically precise spaces that bypass each other in translucent sheets. Fabozzi's work is reminiscent of a form of refined Cubism, creating a spectrum and system to envision an actual space. Site Translations uses the visual and quantitative data of each location to deconstruct the dense and vacillating three-dimensional environment of urbanity.
The viewer is confronted with a dynamic color palette in Corviale #1. The vibrant colors organize one’s vision field, establishing a sense of depth. Fabozzi’s finely applied layers of paint form intersecting planes of green, yellow, orange, and blue, suggesting sheets of plastic encasing foreground within background. The space seems to recede and come forward at the same time, evoking sensations of progression and remembrance of buildings shifting in and out of a perspective. The colored beams of the painting become alleys, enclaves, and windows, remnants of an urban setting that become revealed and resolved upon the canvas.
Meanwhile in QBB #1, the intersecting planes create a more palpable texture throughout the depicted architectural structure. The color field is dominated by a spectrum of violets and purples intermixed with contrasting oranges and reds. The layers appear to shift upwards from the lower right hand corner, creating a more frenzied environment that titillates between stages of balance and asymmetry. The more abstract sense off space disorients the viewer’s sense of perspective and creates a more metaphoric sense of a “site translation.” The movement of the walls parallels the complimentary color usage. Fabozzi envelops the viewer in a stream of movement and energy, recalling the sensation of being within the midst of metropolis.
In discussing his process Fabozzi points to the data-based construction of his works:
Walking around New York City with a camera in hand and hooked to a pedometer allows one to collect a lot of data. Shapes that are culled from the photos taken and numbers counted by the pedometer are the raw material of my recent paintings and drawings. As the information about every conceivable part of our waking lives from every angle mounts and the structures of organizing this data become more complex, the body retreats. This work mirrors that retreat but at the same time celebrates what, for me, is the corner stone of being- the simple act of breathing as I move through space.
Hence, for Fabozzi, painting becomes a structure, a means and a lens for organizing and understanding the mass amounts of data and stimuli around us. The shapes that are stand-ins for the cities that he travels through, minimize the obtusely specific to create order in an otherwise overwhelming and inundated landscape. In order to achieve this structure, Fabozzi manages to retreat the human figure amongst the passageways and grids that represent Rome, Istanbul, New York City. The landscape that is created becomes one that the viewer enters with his mind rather than body, a conceptual representation these variable locations. This slow retreat recites a part of urban existence in which we become part of a larger whole, a space that surrounds each and everyone of us.
Fabozzi received his BFA from Alfred University in 1989 and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Paul Fabozzi will be having a solo show at Seraphin Gallery in December.
To inquire about Corviale #1 or QBB #1 please email: firstname.lastname@example.org