With impressive dedication and seemingly limitless patience, artist Benjamin Sack takes a black liner with a .05 mm tip and sets out to draw the tightly arranged, exceptionally detailed panoramas of imaginary cities.
Artist Benjamin Sack is captivated by the infinite, expanses of architectural mastery that fractalize and spiral into boundless metropolises. The fact that Benjamin Sack has spent some time as an artist in residence in Amsterdam can be easily recognized by his drawings. Architecture is condensed into chaotic structures, which inevitably reminds of works by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher.
Sack makes use of architecture as a medium that can convey the unique space between realism and abstraction. From gothic cathedrals to skyscrapers, his cities are absolutely the product of his imagination. His dense, detailed metropolitan landscapes, composed of buildings, roads, rivers and bridges span generations. Sack singles out the Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu (1596-1673) as a huge influence.
Oddly enough, the vast cities Sack creates are unpopulated; no boats in the rivers, no cars or people moving in the labyrinth of streets. “I like the idea of allowing the viewer to experience the city in their own way,” Sack explains. “For me, the buildings, rivers and such are all characters. Some structures are main actors, others are spectators. The city, itself, is a person. At times, I do consider putting people in the drawings but I stop myself. Placing figures in the work would introduce some sort of definite narrative.”
Sack states that he is influenced by the concept of ”Western antiquity”: “It seems to me that most people, if not all of society, share the following image of the Western antique world: impeccably clean marble facades, long triumphal alleys, monuments in honor of glorious achievements. In fact, the cities of the past were far from our idealized standards. Yes, there was marble, a lot of marble, and the monuments were also abundant, but all these city centers were close and overpopulated, and for those who did not have significant wealth, life in magnificent antiquity often consisted of a heroic struggle for survival. Despite the fact that the states of antiquity were built on blood, dirt, and corruption, the idea of ??antiquity eventually became a symbol of some important concepts of modern society: democracy, justice, law and order, balance, symmetry. Now these ideals are the cornerstones of our civilization, civilization, which in the distant future, perhaps, will be considered antiquity.”
In this particular space, Sack, encapsulates both the infinite and infinitesimal. His work attracts a person’s eye to explore drawings of the big picture, to peer into a kaleidoscope of histories in order to glimpse past the realm of lines and dots. He also just opened a solo show titled Ad Infinitum at Ethra Gallery in Mexico City.