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The Routes Of Kandinsky - Moscow

 

 

 

In December of 1991 I traveled to Moscow for one main reason: to ride its metro system, which is arguably the most beautiful underground in the world. It was hard to reconcile that this gorgeous palace of public transportation with marble walls, artwork everywhere and hanging chandeliers served a populace that was impoverished, as the USSR was officially broken up at the very moment of my arrival. Far more representative of the conditions I encountered was a torn underground wall map that I photographed on the inside of a metro train car, that can be seen above.

Artistic interpretations of two of the photos above are presented both in this gallery and elsewhere on this site. The photo that is represented in this gallery is represented by details of the old torn map. Also incorporated into one of these artworks is the emblem that was adhered to the exterior of metro cars, "CCCP" the abbreviation for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, otherwise known as the USSR.

Also presented here are abstracted reinterpretations of two very different versions of Moscow Metro maps. The first one, a rectangular form with circular ends, has been rotated into a horizontal position, for it was drawn vertically on the actual map that was produced during the era of the USSR. As noticeable in the photo of the torn map seen above, others have been drawn so that particular train line, which has no beginning or end point, appears to be a circle. In others, it has been redrawn as a rectangle with curved corners, an octagon or other graphic forms.

Needless to say, in each case a passenger still ends up traveling the same distance to the same desired destination. The London "Tube" Underground also has a line known as the "Circle Line," though the shape seen on the London Tube map is by no means circular, beyond the fact that, like a roller coaster, the train rides around and around on the same line.

Such variations in the design of functional metro maps are for the simple reason that they don't require following actual geography, for no one can see the actual paths of a transportation system that is beneath the earth's surface. A cartogapher is afforded a limited degree of artistic license that would be impossible of a topical city map, for one can see the angles and curvatures of roads upon which one travels and the actual topography from the air.

I have since taken this liberty much farther, though for nonfunctional purposes.

For the sake of further cultural reference, two of the other faux picture frames in this gallery consist of details of paintings by Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky. Close up views of such details can be seen on the specific pages of each individual artwork.

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

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