Filip Dujardin, the Belgian artist, creates eye-boggling works of digital trickery.

He delights in repetition--for example, here, he turns concrete-clad gables into an architectural motif.

Dujardin is the subject of a solo show next month in San Francisco, exhibiting works like this, a wall of windows that are each unique.

Dujardin calls his works--like this one, which recalls Louis Kahn--“fictions.”

One image shows a building made entirely out of chimneys.

In 2008, Dujardin sparked a viral frenzy over his photographs (like this one), with many online believing that the images showed actual monuments in obscure post-Soviet areas of Eastern Europe.

In reality, his images show an aggregation of dozens of architectural conditions--say, balconies, as seen here.

A new work shows the aggregation of rooftops.

Dujardin’s version of architecture--like this photo of a segregated medieval keep--is sometimes more compelling than the reality.

A modernist icon--the "organic hillock"--is perverted by precast foundations.

An older image of a "fiction" in post-Soviet Russia.

Clearly a fabrication, there’s something about this photo that smacks of truth.

A fachwerkhause behemoth.

Dujardin’s photos delight in turning subtle details, like a blank party wall, into overwhelming gestures.

One of his newer works, which will be shown at Highlight Gallery this spring.

A medieval German townhouse is perverted into a suburban McMansion.

An overenthusiastic copy of Saarinen’s JFK terminal? No--it’s a fabrication.

Another fascinatingly medieval fiction.

Beginning on February 7th, San Francisco’s Highlight Gallery will feature Dujardin’s recent work in large format until March 28th.

Co.Design

Architectural Photography That Breaks Your Brain On Second Glance

Filip Dujardin’s exquisitely crafted collages are so beautiful, it’s sad to learn they’re fakes.

Filip Dujardin is to architectural photography what trolls are to the Internet. The Belgian photographer, who is the subject of a solo show next month in San Francisco, delights in making images that are just believable enough to confuse the eye.

Dujardin calls his art--which is not quite photography and not quite illustration--“fictions.” Like a digital-age Dr. Frankenstein, the 41-year-old artist crafts his fictions from multiple photographs, cutting and pasting them into something that just passes for realism. One image shows a building made entirely out of chimneys, another structure has a massive wall of windows--each a different size and shape. His newest work, shot in the coastal French town of Deauville, splices unexpected materials like medieval crenellations and cinderblock walls. Another 2012 series shows Guimaraes, Portugal as a mutant city, where shacks support highway overpasses and landscape becomes structure.

It’s brilliantly timed trickery, specific to an era when our gullible eyeballs are exposed to hundreds of high-res architectural images every day. In 2008, a Mark magazine feature on Dujardin sparked a viral frenzy over his photographs, with many online believing that the images showed actual monuments in obscure post-Soviet areas of Eastern Europe.

Eventually, the truth came out--but interest in his work hasn’t died down. Speaking to Mark, he compared his motives to those of an unfulfilled architect. "Perhaps the works come out of frustration. That I actually want to play at being an architect, instead of only recording the buildings of others." That’s the true joke behind these images: Dujardin’s version of architecture is far more compelling than the reality.

Beginning on February 7, San Francisco’s Highlight Gallery will feature Dujardin’s recent work in large format until March 28. More on the exhibition here, or check out the artist’s full website here.

Add New Comment

1 Comments

  • bonooobong

    SO COOL! I'VE ALREADY SEEN SOME OF THESE WEIRD PICS SOMEWHERE, BUT I HAVEN'T KNOWN WHICH ARTIST HAS MADE THEM. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS NICE POST, YOU'VE MADE MY DAY WITH THAT, AS AN ARCHITECT IT ALWAYS MAKES ME SMILING WHEN I FIND SOME STUFF LIKE THAT.