Puerto de Europa by Philip Crawford

Puerto de Europa

Size: 90cm x 60cm

Material: digital image on aluminium composite

Description: In contrast to the two old gateways to Madrid, the Puerta de Alcalá and Puerta de Toledo built from granite with neoclassical arches in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the contemporary Puerta de Europa at the northern end of the City, are two steel and glass towers leaning to form an implied gateway. The project was completed in 1996 after a seven year build and at a cost of 150 million euros, and at the time of construction the towers were the first inclined skyscrapers in the world. This work is digitally engineered from my original photograph taken in 2008 when the leaning towers seemed to be telling a story about the ensuing collapse of the world financial markets.


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Artist's Profile - Philip Crawford

Philip Crawford
Philip Crawford was born in Worcester, England in 1944. He now lives in Estepona. In his early teens, Philip used to cycle into the countryside accompanied by his first camera, an East German Zeiss. He remembers that ‘the camera was unusual in that the film had to be advanced by rotating a ring around the lens. Everything was manual, so I had to learn all about aperture settings, shutter speeds and depth of field calculations to achieve perfect images.’
His knowledge and eye paid off when, just after his fifteenth birthday, The Guardian newspaper paid him twenty-five pounds for a front page, black and white photograph of a Merionethshire valley. This windfall allowed Philip to buy his next camera, a Leica, that he used for many years.
In the late 1960s, the emerging computer industry fascinated Philip, particularly computer graphics. He says, ‘I still own a simple line drawing produced by the Computer Arts Society of Japan on a flat-bed computer plotter in the early 1970s. It took one and a half hours to generate. Today it would take less than a second.’
Digital technology allowed him to combine his interests in photography and graphics.
Philip always carries his camera on his extensive travels, always looking for a subject that he can digitally engineer or use as the basis for an unusual piece of artwork.
Unusual barely describes his unique talent for discerning a nuance beneath the exterior and digitally engineering an image to reveal hidden meaning. This flair is perfectly exemplified in his description of one of his works, ‘Puerto de Europa’, a digital image on aluminium composite.

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