Map Art, Now and Then

Yesterday the Artist a Day site featured the works by Nikki Rosato, a young American artist who ‘s making beautiful art works out of maps. Coincidentally (o may be not so), Wired also published an article about these original creations (Artist Creates Intricate Portraits Out of Old Maps) .

I like art, and I like maps, so obviously I am obviously interested in this genre on the intersection between those: Map-Art, a vague zone where the maps are (ab)used to create art works. In her recent anthology The Map as Art Katharine Harmon collected 360 pieces of such map-arts, by more than 150 artist – and this includes the most contemporary works only. Perhaps because of the time scope, or a general bias toward American (or Anglo-Saxon) works, this book does not include the works by Dusseldorf-based painter Holger Runge. During the 1970-s Runge created a series of the beautiful paintings made of the old maps of Germany (the links leads to the large version of the paintings) .

Some of his works were more simple cut-outs, that reminded me the art pieces by Nikki Rosato:

Nikke makes not only 2D works, but the sculptures too, elevating flat maps into new spatial dimensions.

Speaking of times (the past, the present), I foresee a growth of interest to such works in the future, especially in view of an ever-widening use of the geo-spatial applications of all sorts. More interestingly, we will witness a more active use of ‘mental maps, and a variety of applications to support it. In fact, both the latest works by Nikki Rosato and earlier pieces by Holger Runge could be call ‘mental maps’, an embodiment of a personal emotional imaginary into the otherwise neutral and ‘objective’ presentations of the world.

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