“Insight out Kifune” Kufune, Japan. Oil painting on canvas, 90 cm diameter. 2022
In my travels before and especially after the pandemic, I have had this feeling related to non-places. A term coined by Mark Augé that refers to those transit spaces we encounter and don’t give too much attention to as we move from one place to another.
One of those spaces that catch my attention is the subway and subway stations. Its functional and durable design aesthetic responds to each particular city and culture that communicates the values of a society in its historical moment.
For instance, if we compare a subway car in London or Tokyo, Medellin or Paris, we can appreciate four different visions and esthetic expressions that correspond to these parts of the world.
Back to my original feeling, you might ask, but why do I paint these subway cars without people? I continued taking photos to do my paintings. As I continued traveling, I wondered what would happen to these spaces if there was a natural disaster, a nuclear event like Fukuyama or the world heats up a few degrees. People would not continue to come here to transit from one place to another. These non-spaces would remain empty.
My premonition came true shortly after that. When humanity suffered the Pandemic, these spaces became empty.
This work reminds us that as we move from one place to another, there is a space that no one owns, and others are in charge of designing and upkeeping it. Invaluable to human existence as it serves the purpose of connecting us all.
This series of paintings are the result of a spatial and perceptual experience mediated by photography, converted to mixed media canvas in a homage to Richard Estes that translates photography into a painting.
This concept is perhaps the central thought, the recurring idea that constantly reappears in my actual work.
Here is a series of paintings that are the product of my worldwide travels over the past 12 years that depict subway cars and stations. I intend to show these nonspaces from the inside out, transporting the viewer to the interior experience. Through insight, people can see beyond the exterior architecture, so it is possible to communicate with the subject of their perception. The public will experience the highest form of observation, bridging the gap between what they see and understand. The empty subway cars are intriguing for this “unnatural” state; this emptiness awakens a strange sensation of tranquility and a lapse to observe life itself contained in time.
Through the images presented here, Lombana intends to transport your imagination to subway stations like Kifune in Japan, La Estrella in Medellín, La Defense in Paris, Mayakovskaya in Moscow, and Baker Street in London.