A Matter of Perspective: Cities and Neighborhoods in Custom Artwork
In a manner of speaking, a skyline is the face of a city, and commissioned sculptures and paintings of cityscapes as familiar silhouettes of buildings and landmarks are like formal portraits. Faces reveal a great deal, but cities, like people, have features and qualities that might escape the perspective of a formal portrait, characteristics that need to be seen from a slightly different angle or up close to be appreciated. If you’d like custom fine art that celebrates the more hidden charms of your favorite town or offers a new viewpoint on a place as familiar as an old friend, take a look at the following examples of custom artwork from the CustomMade galleries. You’ll find custom made sculptures in wood and metal that give you bird’s-eye and satellite views as well as custom stained glass and projects in other media that forsake distance and take the viewer into neighborhoods.
Views From Above
A view from above a city is as unique as a skyline profile and also captures the sense of urban dynamism by revealing the myriad roads and streets through which life pulses in the metropolis below. “Lower Manhattan,” complete with buildings, streets, waterways, piers, and other landmarks, receives a 3D aerial treatment by 3DWoodies. Artisan Jim Sloane’s fanciful “woodscape” is made from a mix of woods of various species and dimensions, some fine hardwoods and others reclaimed scraps from cabinet shop dumpsters.
In “Timbuktu,” furniture maker Peter Loh of Peter Loh Studio Furniture has portrayed in figured anigre the narrow winding streets of the old section of that African city in a beautiful wall art custom sculpture. This piece is part of Mr. Loh’s CITY series of works derived from satellite images. Some of the western walnut and koa rooftops, like the buildings they represent, hide functional storage spaces underneath.
Aerial views can have a curious effect on viewers because they simultaneously present an overview and a detailed view. You can look through the glass tabletop of the coffee table “Baltimore” by Scott Cawood Metal Artist and see a custom sculpture of a city with an industrial heritage created from hand forged and welded steel hardware and scrap and found steel. All the structures depicted have unique appearances because the signs of wear on the metal pieces that compose them are unique.
Views From the Street
Once we come down from the sky, those buildings and landmarks once again seem huge and majestic. That street level perspective of looking up is captured beautifully in the Brooklyn Bridge stained glass window, custom made for a home in Brooklyn, by Because Designs. With custom stained glass windows, you can control the view from your home, even if it means moving a monument from your neck of the woods just a little bit up or down your street. You can see the artisan Susanna Conaway at work in her studio in this video.
A city is made of neighborhoods, and neighborhoods, like cities, have depth and details that can be overlooked in a profile or aerial view. The palette lamp #1 by Alison McLennan Furniture incorporates photographs by the artist of her neighborhood in Oakland, CA, that are printed on paper specifically made for lampshades. Every side of the lamp shows a different scene. Even the top features a photograph of airplanes flying in the sky above. Ms. McLennan writes: “Some of the photos illustrate one of the local industries– refurbishing shipping palettes, and the base of the lamp consists of two miniature palettes made of mahogany.” This lamp recreates a sort of “view in the round” of a neighborhood at eye-level.
Select your favorite city, whether it’s your hometown or a place you’ve only visited. Contact the CustomMade artisans who live near you or in your chosen city and share your ideas for custom artwork that will let you take it all in from above or allow you to enjoy a close-up view.