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City/ Lights: Hay Hill Gallery opens exhibition of photographs by architect Alexey Lyubimkin
'High Rise' & 'Harmony' by Alexey Lyubimkin.
LONDON.- The photographs of the architect Alexey Lyubimkin are love letters to the cities he encounters. He unfolds the lines of trees and buildings as though they were simply blueprints of the original city design. His lens is a magnifying glass that scrutinises the things our naked eye cannot see, as he presents the ever changing landscapes.

Lyubimkin’s city visions borrow from the old technique of tinting images but use a modern myriad of solero hues. His metallic rain falls in pins and needles over smoothly inked barcodes, and finally slips off the page. Printer margins drag their heels in orange and pink whilst clouds change like the Northern Lights or a heat sensitive T-shirt. This artist’s preoccupation with colour emphasises the importance of noticing beauty even to the rat race during rush hour. If we were to look up from the pavement for just one moment, we might spot a streetlamp glancing off the gutter at a perfect angle, or see how branches transform the sky into a stained glass window.

The black and white compositions are the artist’s poetic views of Italy, from the morning sun on vineyards and cypresses, to the long tall shadows of the afternoon where dark trees and bright clouds borrow each other’s airy shapes. Heatwaves and summer storms give way to the far off scattered lights of a village in the evening. Whilst these works are graphically different to the cityscapes, the artist’s heightened sense of wonder is maintained even in the idyllic.

Whether we love or hate where we live, we subconsciously give ourselves context by our perceived relationship to it. Working out how it all fits together, and then how to live within that space brings a sense of belonging. If we are not present to our surroundings at all then we will always feel at odds- and be homesick wherever we go. The artist gets us standing in place to marvel at those shapes around us, and find out our personal geometry. Rolling out the bridges and streets under our feet like carpets, Lyubimkin invites us in to become an important part of the picture, and to finally feel like we’re home.

Alexey Lyubimkin was born in Novosibirsk, Russia in 1963. He graduated as a specialist architect from Sverdlovsk’s Architectural Institute in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Since then he has managed the institute’s Scientific Research department, worked as a professional architect, published the Russian art magazine ‘Russian Gallery’ and was involved with the development and growth of the Artist Centre at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery. He is one of the founders of London’s Hay Hill Gallery, a member of Russian Photo Artists Union and member of the International Journalist Union. His photos are in private collections worldwide, including Russia, Great Britain, Germany, USA, and Mexico. In 2013 he established and now manages Moscow’s Savvinskaya Arts Centre, where he also has a permanent exhibition and a framing shop.

‘Architecture is the most stylish way of culture representation, and… like many people, I like to make my own discoveries. In this variety of city landscapes and cultural traditions no creative person can remain indifferent. I often carry my camera with me, which becomes my interpreter and even my partner… London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world for me.’- Alexey Lyubimkin

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May 28, 2014

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