A New Twist on Tel Aviv

Media artist Victor Enrich creates social commentary through photo-manipulation, deconstructing and reconstructing the White City’s architecture.

Barcelona-born media artist Victor Enrich has, since childhood, been playing around with architecture. “When I was around 8 I discovered technical drawing, thanks to my grandfather, who worked all his life in construction,” he writes in his blog. “I was playing with some bizarre housing designs but with time I started to design cities.”

After studying architecture and working for several years in computer-aided design (CAD), Enrich decided to travel the world. “It has been during these long years when giving more space to the artistic side of me was actually possible, a process only able to be understood as an attempt to reconnect myself with the child that I used to be.”

Enrich’s artwork focuses on city structures, taking a particular building that catches his attention, then deconstructing and reconstructing it. Through his eyes — and the magic of computer-aided photographic manipulation — skyscrapers bend, twist and turn inside-out. The resulting image contains a metaphorical twist as well; the re-imagined building becomes a form of commentary on the society that built it.  

On his travels, Enrich lived for two and a half years in Tel Aviv. Surrounded by the White City’s Modernist (Bauhaus) architecture, he was inspired to play with it. “You can find Bauhaus examples almost at any corner and, of course, in the corner net to my flat there was one too. Every morning, while walking to my Hebrew language school, I could enjoy its presence.”

Stitched Panorama
Tongues (2009)

A whimsical take on the Mekorot National Water Company‘s headquarters on Lincoln Street…

Stitched Panorama
Tuna (2011)

Tel Aviv’s first skyscraper, the Shalom-Meir Tower — once the tallest building in the Middle East — unzipped.

viktor-enrich_shalom-meir-tower-TLV
Shalom (2008)

The Orchid Tel Aviv beachfront hotel faces a Mediterranean Sea plagued by seasonal swarms of stinging jellyfish

Stitched Panorama
Medusa (2010)

Enrich decided to redress a wrong by retrofitting the flat roofs of Tel Aviv with some nice red tile shingles. “I thought interesting that there were almost no redirect references to European architecture, such as neoclassicism or Art Nouveau… just a vast universe of whitish concrete 2-story blocks..”

Stitched Panorama
Roofs (2010)

Sadly, Enrich’s time in Israel was cut short when his visa expired and he was rudely ejected from the country — but not before spending five days in jail as an illegal foreign national. He was working on an image of the Azrieli Center towers at that time and completed it only once back in Barcelona.

viktor-enrich_azrieli-center-TLV
Deportation (2011)

Over the past few years, Enrich has continued to travel throughout Europe and India, and has worked on increasingly more complex projects. Visit his blog to learn more about the ideas underlying his images, as well as more architectural fantasies of Israel and other countries — including his newest envisioning of the White House, the NH Deutscher Kaiser Hotel in Munich — and more.

NHDK (2013)

Photos by Victor Enrich published by permission. Unmanipulated Shalom Tower image (on left) courtesy of Wikipedia.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.