Walls emerge as artistic canvases. These are walls we encounter in cities such as London, Rome, Marrakesh, New York, Berlin, Hong Kong, Paris, and Havana, as well as in more isolated surroundings. But make no mistake: The walls here aren’t murals intended to attract attention. The subject here is the inconspicuous and the overlooked; walls that have been left to their own devices because their visual impact is incidental. But in neglecting their appearance and investing our resources elsewhere, we’ve provided them with the opportunity to take on a life of their own. This way of perceiving reality is the constant thread that runs throughout the pieces examined here.
The series of images explores both the function and the myth of the wall. Walls are more than impenetrable barriers designed to block outsiders from gaining physical access to a place; they also prevent them from seeing what happens inside. They mask our senses and render our perception helpless by presenting us with something alternative that we are forced to perceive. “Seen” this way, walls are the very essence of the metaphysical. They are simultaneously something we can see and something that conceals—guardians of a well-kept secret.
This book leads us along walls that have a dramatic effect all their own. Thematically, they can be seen as existing in a state of flux, having been exiled from the urban landscape that produced them. Here, we see the singularity of the wall, with total disregard for local atmosphere or scenery. It is for this reason that walls are not walls as we have come to understand them. They are places in their own right — and each image is a world unto itself. Each subject portrayed here captures a definitive moment of inspiration, not as a testament to reproduction, but as a unique and fully-formed object to behold.