Constructivisms by Roy Berkowitz
Friday September 20, 2019
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
As a city boy, I was born to wander the urban landscape. Like an “urban Buddhist,” who likens a walk through the city to a walk in wilderness, I find endlessly beautiful views of the street to behold. Looking while walking — something most of us do on a hike, but forget to do between the subway and the office — gives me a non–discriminating approach to everyday objects and environments, letting me find their special nature through selection and interpretation, then adding my desire to push things.

I typify the French masculine noun flâneur — stroller, lounger, saunterer, loafer. I was a messenger in midtown Manhattan for three years and I think that experience affected me profoundly. I can’t get the city images out of my blood. Charles Baudelaire’s graceful expansion of its meaning — “a person who walks the city in order to experience it” — echoes the archaic British vicambulist, a person who wanders the city. These fascinated walkers were on Susan Sontag’s mind when she wrote:

“The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.”

This new body of work is very exciting for me. Accidentally, without striving for it, a certain batch of my favorite painters and movements are suddenly making any appearance in my work. Louis Lozowick’s urban sketches, Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, the American Precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe’s urban paintings.

— Roy Berkowitz

Photo: ©Roy Berkowitz

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