Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Things Are Looking Down (Again)

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Things Are Looking Down (Again) ~

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Whenever you feel like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders spare a thought for the atlantes of Paris, not to mention their caryatid cousins.

And there are a lot of these under pressure giants; it's a bit like when you're thinking of buying a new car and suddenly see the particular model you're interested in everywhere. As soon as these characters enter your consciousness it's as if half the buildings of Paris are being supported by them. They're everywhere.

I like this one in particular (and his twin, just out of shot), from the 8th arrondissement I think it was, because of the incredible contrast between the perfectly smooth glass and steel or aluminium of the facade with the purposely rough as can be bronze which looks like it's been smeared on straight from the oven with a pastry knife and left to harden in violent visceral layers.

Another omnipresent architectural feature is the hundreds of little heads and faces looking down at us from walls and doorways all over the city. They're not as impressive as these guys but some of the expressions can tempt us to wonder what was going on in the architect's head when they were made, and if they really considered what it would be like to come home to a boggly-eyed leerer every day. Whilst others are so bland and anonymous the only explanation can be that either they have some personal importance to the designer or that there's some symbolism there which has gone... way over my head.

The final and highly popular option is to adorn the upper reaches of your abode with a babe (as in Pamela Anderson, not chubby cherubim) whose own upper reaches are generally gratuitously unadorned by anything as unnecessary as a toga or modesty protecting robe. That's architects for you. As I often say some of the most fun in this city is to be had by looking up, just to see what's looking down on you. And there's a few.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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