I was browsing through the new issue of Beautiful Decay today and happened upon Dionisio González's work. His recent digital composites picture imaginary favelas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For this project, González photographically fused the existing infrastructure with fantastical edifices that have no basis in reality. The imaginary additions are not the result of extracting actual structures from other photographs, they are pure digital fabrications that the artist creates from scratch. Unlike most metropolitan areas, the favelas of Sao Paulo do not subscribe to the traditional parameters of urban planning. The residents of these are areas erect their own homes and (almost continually) modify them as they see fit. As a result, the landscape is in continuous transition, shifting in a way that makes González's images, if not realistic, than at least plausible. In the press release for his exhibition at Fielder Contemporary, it states:
"Dionisio González is not only interested in the aesthetic aspect; his works also have a social facet. The artist is involved in a continuous discourse with the mayors’ offices in the various favelas surrounding São Paulo, to find ways to transform some of the building structures he has designed into reality. These buildings are mainly conceived as social centres, to improve the local population’s internal communication. In contrast to most architects and urban planners, who aim to impose a logical urban order on the favelas through their work, Dionisio González attempts to extend and improve the existing structures in line with the needs of the inhabitants, through constructive alternatives."
All Images © Dionisio González