In site_specific_, his ongoing series of films and largescale stills, Italian artist Olivo Barbieri creates unusual aerial portrayals of various international cities. Filming from a helicopter with a tilt-shift lens camera, Barbieri produces selectively focused images that make Las Vegas’s swanky casinos, Rome’s ancient monuments, Los Angeles’s buzzing metropolis, and Shanghai’s contemporary skyscrapers look like eerily accurate, miniature models. By blurring imperfections and distorting the scale of buildings and people, Barbieri redefines the customary ground-level perspective of these cities. Although they appear uncannily artificial, these images are actual depictions of spectacular urban landscapes.
The two photos above are from Shanghai. The second, we think, is Shanghai Railway Station. Barbieri’s work comes to our city as part of the Shanghai Biennale and the Year of Italy in China. More Biennale events are listed here.
Here are some links to more of Barbieri’s photos available online: Jinmao Tower (and again here), Rome, more Rome, India, China and Italy, just Italy, and more here and here.
You can find some tutorials on how you can fake the “Barbieri effect” here and here. There is also a Flickr pool of tilt-shift fakes.
Site Specific Shanghai, works by Olivo Barbieri, Bund 18 Creative Center, 4/F, Bund 18, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, September 5-24, 10:00 – 19:00 daily. Tel: 63235080.
The miniature world of Olivo Barbieri (The Guardian)
Model World (Metropolis Mag)