Framing A Hidden Paris

by Dish Staff

Jonathan Curiel explores photographer Michael Wolf‘s new series capturing the city’s rooftops:

Wolf, whose previous photo series have been mostly centered in China and Japan, wandered along Paris’ rooftops to find an architectural side of Paris that is cracking and atrophying out of public view. Wolf — as he did with his acclaimed “Architecture of Density” series from Hong Kong — squeezes the skyline out of each scene, condensing what could be sprawling vistas into tight layers of metal and cement. Dotting Wolf’s roofs are scores of orange, red, and blueish vents that look like patterns of pottery or even engorged Lego pieces. The title of Wolf’s exhibit, “Paris Abstract,” advertises his photos’ location but also his aim: to disconnect Paris from its idealized reputation — to, in a sense, “de-Paris” Paris.

“When I went up on rooftops, I realized that it’s a perspective that most people don’t see,” says Wolf during a visit to Robert Koch Gallery in downtown San Francisco, where his exhibit is on display through [Sept 6]. “If you see Paris from the foot perspective, it’s all polished and perfect, and there’s nothing improvised or broken or damaged. The rooftops are totally different. The people who work up there say, ‘Oh, no one’s going to see this anyway,’ and they dump something, or the chimney is broken. In that sense, it was a Paris that I found very sympathetic.”

A few more images from the series after the jump:




The Dish previously featured Wolf’s urban-Asia photographs here. His other Paris series, utilizing Google Street View, is here. You can also follow him on Facebook.