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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Art speaks, Bratislava, Slovakian Republic, 2003
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Art speaks, Bratislava, Slovakian Republic, 2003

This abandoned building in Bratislava is made less of an eyesore by the efforts of local art students who turned every door and window into a visual statement. I move in to remove the building from its surrounding context, making it seem even more incongruous.

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Phil Douglis24-Aug-2010 17:34
The "art of art" comes in the framing, River King. By removing all of its context, I make the incongruous artwork seem even more incongruous.
Guest 24-Aug-2010 05:38
wow! just love this picture, it's the art of art!
Phil Douglis31-Aug-2006 17:05
It is like a jigsaw puzzle of sorts, isn't it, Chris? I had not looked at it in that light before. Each window offers it own perspective and coloration to the scene.
Chris Sofopoulos31-Aug-2006 09:28
What a great find and interesting puzzle of different images, colours and textures!
Phil Douglis28-Jul-2006 23:35
You see still another form of incongruity in terms the productive use of an abandoned building. Yet the art itself is also quite incongruous.
Guest 28-Jul-2006 11:42
"Abandoned" is supposed useless, but this abandoned wall was very useful by those who painted on it and is still very useful for who appreciate it( like the photographer and the viewers - us). That is the incongruity I see here.

Phil Douglis26-Jan-2006 19:27
Hi, Antonio -- thanks for this question. A purist would use a perspective control lens on a shot like this. But I am not a purist. I am a tourist. And a teacher. I don't carry heavy equipment around the world with me. To me, this shot is all about its incongruity. The slight tilt of the building is irrelevant to me and to the average viewer. If you are walking down a street and look up at nearby building, it will seem narrower at the top than at the bottom. Yours eyes show it to you this way, but your brain knows better and dismisses it as an illusion. I feel that most viewers will look at this image and accept the tilt as illusion. They know the building is not really bending. So I don't concern myself with such things as perspective control. The only people who will find it distracting are purists intent on correcting illusions.
Guest 26-Jan-2006 05:46
to me, Phil, this image vehiculate the beauty and this enjoyment of the message is more strong as the building is old then the colors of the arts there appear to be remarkable in view. I am just disturbed by the escaping lines due to the angle of the lens with respect to the plane of the building; to my eyes this is disturbing and I need to seei it in the correct perspective way. How this need, which can be common, could affect the expressivity of the photo in your opinion?
Phil Douglis28-Aug-2005 21:55
Thanks, Kostas, for telling me what this image means to you. It seems to have struck different chords with different viewers, which was exactly as I had hoped.
Kostas 28-Aug-2005 20:44
From all the windows I prefer.... the stairs :-)
It's like a statement.
Step in and we will take you in a whole new world where everything is possible.
Phil Douglis23-Dec-2004 19:20
The whole point of art, Mikel, is to allow the viewer to make his or her own art out of it, each in their own way. The young artists who created these illusions within this abandoned building want you to come up with the answer to the questions each of these windows or doors ask of us. I then ask another question of the viewer by abstracting the building itself, removing its limits and suggesting no end to these fanciful delights. What we have here is incongruity within incongruity. Art imitates life and life imitates art, and the lines between fact and fiction are intentionally blurred.
Guest 23-Dec-2004 17:24
The walls, the paintings and it's isolation makes it a very interesting building, but there is one thing I don't get to distiguish in the photo that is what more atracts my view: The stairs, at first it seems that there is a real entrance and then it is evident that part of it is painted, were is realy the frontere of reality and fiction in this particular space?
Phil Douglis02-Dec-2004 03:48
Thanks, Clara, for this comment. This image was a labor of love for me. It is, as you say, all about art and artists. I only show a small portion of the building, taking it out of its normal context to intensify its incongruity and meaning.
Guest 01-Dec-2004 23:36
the picture of an art piece. ruins recycled to a tale of another possible life. the testimony of those students was not done in vain.
Phil Douglis08-Nov-2004 21:35
Abstraction is part of the very fiber of art, Nut. All artists either depart from reality by taking away elements to leave space for the viewers imagination to work, or else express ideas that are, in themselves, abstractions or essences of life. I agree completely with you -- art exists so that your imagination can thrive. I can't see anything as art that does not in some way affect the human imagination. As for incongruity, not all abstraction is incongruous and not all incongruity is abstract. But more often than not, these two principles are inseparable.
nut 08-Nov-2004 19:44
This is an art. To me, art is the way to express and/or to create my imagination. It won't be
reality. So all abstract arts are incongruous with reality or not?
Phil Douglis06-Nov-2004 19:32
I am glad you found an incongruity between what you see and what you feel, Nut. My intention was to express the incongruities of reality vs. fantasy, and the abandoned vs. the reclaimed.
nut 06-Nov-2004 07:52
Abstract Incongruity. I saw happiness and the meaning of joyful life here, and this give me
an abstract incongruity between what I see and what I feel.
Piotr Siejka10-Jun-2004 18:58
Phil Douglis25-Mar-2004 20:01
You are right, Dianne -- that is another aspect of the incongruity here. The fact that this derelict building has become a work of whimsical art is one form of juxtaposition. But as you say, the juxtaposition of the student's faith and the beauty they have brought to their work, set against the ugly disappointment represented by urban decay, offers still more incongruity.
Dianne 25-Mar-2004 06:17
This is one of my favorite among all your pictures. Looking at it makes me feel lighthearted. It seems as if everyone who contributed to this picture is believing and doing something to make life beautiful even in the midst of disappointment.
Phil Douglis15-Oct-2003 19:07
Thanks, Carol, for bringing this up. I often find myself walking the line between the worlds of photography and illustration. One is oriented towards reality, the other towards fantasy. This image offered me a chance to work with both at once. Phil
Carol E Sandgren15-Oct-2003 18:26
The paintings give this pictures a real illustrustrative quality, and makes your photo an illustration in itself.
EMangl14-Sep-2003 15:21
Bratislava, but that´s not soo important - the photo is superb, must find one from Znaim (czech republic) and send it to you :-)
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