Zoom Into Alexander N. Petrov's Modern Metropolis

Explore this depiction of urban traffic from The Institute of Russian Realist Art

By Google Arts & Culture

Traffic Lights (1990) by Alexander N. Petrov (1947)The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA)

The life of a modern metropolis is one of the most popular subjects for  hyperrealists.

Display windows in shops and restaurants, telephone booths, advertising banners, metro stations, and road signs often become the protagonists of their works.

In this work, created in 1990, Alexander Petrov has painted a significant element of urban life... the traffic light.

However, the street and cars are invisible to the viewer. The only things that can be seen are hats of the pedestrians and a sunset sky over their heads.

The artist was not aiming to reproduce reality in the literal sense. Instead, he imagines a hypothetical situation and makes it real and tangible through his artistic vision.

Therefore, all the objects in the picture become equal and are painted with the same degree of detail.

As if through a magnifying glass lens, the artist is observing the surface of the traffic lights lens, the tightly strung electric wires and felt hats.

Even the pedestrians’ heads are cloned and repeated several times, making the characters appear as equals, without individual features.

Discover more about Petrov's 'Traffic Lights'.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Stories from The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA)
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