Hello everyone, back from my trip to Armenia, here’s a first related work.
A large abandoned soviet-era building in Jermuk, with a nice sculpture on the facade. It caught my attention, so I took a few steps inside.
At first it didn’t seem particularly interesting. Almost empty, with a relatively modern structure… but after reaching the middle of the ground floor the view is just great!
On both sides there are these very interesting statues, with series of 6 very large heads. A few of them have some lipstick or mustaches added by some “joking thug”.
The impression is definitely surreal. The grandeur of the building and the imposing visages offer a stark contrast from the crumbling stairs and flaking paint. The temperature adds to the feeling: it dropped at least 10 degrees upon entering the building. The cold suggests being inside a giant refrigerator fighting to freeze time, surrounded by a very warm sun, overheating everything else.
From the few information I was able to gather, it seems the building was indeed built during the soviet era by USSR government. The faces inside represent Armenian heroes and fighters for freedom.
If anyone can provide more info regarding the building and/or the faces, I’ll be happy to include them. The construction is currently undergoing some kind of renovation, as there are some construciotn materials outside, so it will probably not last long in the current state.
Also here I want to stay on the edge between a picture and a drawing/painting. I made the flaking paint very visible, but the colors brilliant and saturated, to remind the life that was once here.
I focused on the faces and the geometric structure behind, making them stand out a bit. Also wanted to keep the darkest areas not completely black, but suggesting that something’s there.
I then experimented something: In these dark areas I created a look somewhat similar to stains and saturated watercolors, to further the distance from a photographic look. I also used some black fading strokes to highlight details, on both the faces and the structure. You can better appreciate those touches in the details shown below (half of the final work resolution):
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