In his many popular illustration series, Barcelona-based artist Federico Babina uses eye-popping, whimsical graphics to make architecture–often seemingly lofty and arcane to laymen–playful and accessible. In his latest series, Artistect, he pairs stylistically similar architects and artists and imagines the hybrid building-paintings these kindred spirits might make together.
Salvador Dali’s surreal whimsy meets Jan Kaplicky’s neofuturistic structures; Mark Rothko’s vast, aching color fields are fused with Ricardo Legoretta’s brightly painted facades; and Joan Miro’s blob-like forms meet the unusual curves of SANAA’s undulating buildings.
In some instances, Babina’s comparisons between artists and architects seem a bit forced: Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, while wildly imaginative in their use of shape, largely lacked the super-saturated color Kandinsky’s compositions are best known for. And it’s hard to see direct parallels between Diller Scofidio Renfro’s sleek buildings and the work of surrealist icon Rene Magritte. Still, it’s an imaginative experiment intended to blur the lines and reveal overlap between famous art and architecture, to get viewers to see familiar buildings and paintings in new and unexpected ways.
The illustrations in Artistect are available as prints for $25 here.