Naomi Reis


Notes from the Artist: “My work features parallel architectural universes assembled from the detritus of discarded utopias and unrealized paleo-futuristic structures. Taking compositional and aesthetic cues from Japanese painting (in particular graphic flatness and frontal qualities) and Western architectural drawings (pre computer-era), I adapt obsolete manual drafting techniques to explore these worlds. Mechanical pen on mylar, brush, straight edge and knife blade (and a bit of software-enabled 3D modeling) are used to create hundreds of fragments, which are then hand-placed and assembled into compositions that float in the gravity-neutral space between reality and the imagination.

Inspired by this image of a green Manhattan, and building on a series I have been working on that feature urban “vertical gardens,” I created a new piece for The James called Vertical Garden (Marshes) — featuring one-hundred cut-out drawings of the indigenous plants that once grew on this spot, now growing from the roofs of a rotated contemporary high-rise. Accompanying that piece are studies of architectural fragments, a drawing in tribute to the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller’s airborne habitats and a piece called From the Abandoned Cities (Cave), which imagines the discovery of a strange half organic, half manmade underground world.”