PROJECT ROOM: ROMAIN ERKILETLIAN
For the past several years, Romain Erkiletlian (French, b. 1972), has created paintings, drawings and photographs that take a unique approach to the urban landscape. Applying a faceted viewpoint and limited palette, each work embodies the chaos and energy that have become the cinematic norm in our culture’s perception of utopia/dystopia, or in Erkiletlian’s case, idealized settings to explore themes of design, architecture and regeneration. Through this carefully orchestrated filter of line and form, Erkiletlian abstracts representations of ‘city’, albeit ones without a visible human presence, and turns these into quasi-futuristic scenarios. And with no single point of reference, the viewer is open to free association, floating through each work with little to grasp but much to imagine.
Erkiletlian’s esthetic fiction clearly resides somewhere between Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) and Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner (1982), with hints of Chuck Jones’ 1940s animated outer space adventures added for good measure. Sanitized bright silvers, baby blues and fluorescent orange highlights punctuate the work, reminding the viewer that design is an emotional factor. These flat planes of color become graphic symbols; however the viewer is often unable to discern the difference between positive and negative space. Romain Erkiletlian lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. He has exhibited internationally since 1998.