German artist Rafael Gerlach also known as SatOne was recently in France for a very special project at the Vandamme Library in Paris, supported by “The Art en Ville“ and curated by Olivier Landes.
Called “Buried Horizons” the new intervention is inspired by the architectural features of the building that today houses the Vandamme Library, a building that back in the 70s was subject to certain structural measures commonly called architectural zoning that limited the high and size of buildings. It is therefore not surprising to see places below ground level. This was precisely the today unusual choice of Pierre Dufau, the designer of the Vandamme island, an underground outdoor patio that can only be accessed by going down a stairs.
Apart from this feature, SatOne was struck by the brutalist aspects of the structure and a heaviness that can still be noticed on the upper floors of the building.
Characterised by elements like concrete, aluminum and glass, the only element that breaks with the monotony and apparent coldness of the structure is the presence of vegetation in the patio.
Based on his observation of the surrounding landscape, SatOne transcribes in his work the essence of the place understood as an urban stratum. He reinterprets here the cuts on the earth’s crust as displayed in a geography book. These patterns are then redrawn by the artist who, following a certain (aesthetically) earthquake, breaks the scientific exactitude and rigidity of these lines softening them thanks to a profusion of forms.
SatOne’s intervention overflows the forecourt on the edges by painting the balcony of the patio, and a series of circles surrounding it on the ground floor. Only the windows of the library remain unpainted although they also become integrated into the composition thanks to the reflection they provide. In this way, the viewer becomes immersed in the works different aspects and is intended to experience it from different points of view.
About the artist
Rafael Gerlach aka SatOne, was born in Venezuela in 1977 from German parents. At the age of two he and his family moved back to Munich where he currently lives and works. After starting out in graffiti in the 90s, then training as a graphic designer a few years later, he gradually developed a twofold field of exploration combining abstraction and colour, and revealing an introspective reflection that connects the work of art and the spectator. Self-proclaimed independent artist, SatOne prefers to not be confined to any movement, and regards his studio as an experimental laboratory where he gives shape to a rich, free aesthetic which is open to personal analysis.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.