With striking determination and infinite patience, artist Benjamin Sack takes a black liner with a 0.05 mm rod and begins to draw the tightly arranged, incredibly detailed landscapes of fictional cities with a full set of buildings, roads, rivers and bridges.
He continues to paint until the ink runs out of the pen. Then he takes another pen. And then one more, emptying the rods of writing supplies for a few months until the picture is ready.
The architectural researches of Sack cover several centuries, from Gothic cathedrals to glass skyscrapers, reminiscent of both the urban layout of the European model and the amazing megacities that writers like science fiction writers like to describe. If you look closely, here and there you can find well-known outlines.
The artist says that he is inspired by the idea of ”Western antiquity”: “It seems to me that most people, if not all of society, share the following image of the Western antique world: impeccably clean marble facades, long triumphal alleys, monuments in honor of glorious achievements. In fact, the cities of the past were far from our idealized standards. Yes, there was marble, a lot of marble, and the monuments were also abundant, but all these city centers were close and overpopulated, and for those who did not have significant wealth, life in magnificent antiquity often consisted of a heroic struggle for survival. Despite the fact that the states of antiquity were built on blood, dirt, and corruption, the idea of antiquity eventually became a symbol of some important concepts of modern society: democracy, justice, law and order, balance, symmetry. Now these ideals are the cornerstones of our civilization, civilization, which in the distant future, perhaps, will be considered antiquity.”
Sack most recently completed his third voyage aboard the MS Amsterdam as an artist-in-residence where he finds endless inspiration from various ports and cities as he works aboard the ship. He also just opened a solo show titled Ad Infinitum at Ethra Gallery in Mexico City through December. Explore more of his recent work in his portfolio.