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ARCH[IMAGE]TECTURE
Francesco Colarossi, Architect
Roma 2005
Italia
The graphic portrayal of the architectural designs has always been the principal tool for an architect in order to establish and communicate his own ideas and dreams.

Introduced by Leon Battista Alberti, perspective technique represents the most imaginative of these skills. Developed and enhanced in the following centuries by artists and architects like Giovanni Piranesi, Leonardo da Vinci, Francesco Borromini, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Etienne Boullée etc. the perspective representation rises to the role of the main instrument used for communicating the design idea to the public.
During the Renaissance period already, the artists’ and architects’ necessity to express their own ideas and projects to the powerful clients of their time prompted the importance of the visual communication. The architect actually does not only have to be capable of expounding his own design to the specialized professionals (that is through technical design instruments), but also has to know how to convince and fascinate his direct financers through the esthetically captivating images.
In our days, such power of communication and persuasion, introduced on the inside of a society whose habits are being more profoundly rooted in the hazardous field of appearances, becomes the essential act in “publication” of the idea. The capacity of expressing this power the best way possible presents the architects’ figure with another competence that only gives an added value to the design idea.

The power of the image is undisputedly rooted on the inside of the scale of values of our society; so rooted that sometimes the “unreal” projects are more powerful than the “real” ones. Fact and fiction were definitively short-circuited with the arrival of the new millennium. The “end of the real world” has, at least for now, been consolidated by its fusion with the imaginary; the hundred version of the “end of the world” and the destruction of the Twin Towers are precisely painful for reasons which are both opposite but convergent. The former because they pretend to be real without actually being so, the latter because it resembles fiction but is not. This is only the latest version of a Hollywood movie. In fact, as for the movie art, the images represent the melting between the desires and the reality, between the painful and the hope. In this complete confusion, art is at the same time an accomplice and a route to salvation.
It is an accomplice because for at least a hundred years it has preached what is happening today. It represents salvation because it also indicated the possible alternatives.

People can imagine new versions of reality as a positive reaction of their own fears. Such as architects as Gehry and Koolhas, who were raised on Archigram, Batman and their characters, Vincent Callebaut represents his architecture referring himself to some artists of caliber of Moebius and Enki Bilal, whose futuristic imagination (and likewise possible in the future) often dwells upon the architecture that represents organic forms. Images are the only way to express hidden dreams; but this expression must be supported by an original technique which can reach people’s imagination.

Vincent Callebaut, in this respect, possesses a representation technique of immediate reception, at the same time capable of communicating to the public a genesis of the idea and the future carrying out of the design. His images offer a recognizable technique and style notwithstanding the diversity and vastness of the design themes dealt with. The “virtuality” of the represented architectural objects, through the diffused lighting and the accentuated transparencies, fuses into the reality of relevant project points transforming it and casting it into a possible future. The objects either shine with their own light or let themselves be penetrated by the preexisting luminous sources; that way they become downright advertising posters of themselves. Their aura expands to the surrounding landscape, binding and blending with it. It is not actually difficult to observe that the predominant color scheme is often monochromatic, allowing the reading of an integrated image more immediate and harmonious.

In Vincent Callebaut a “pictorial” technique unites itself successfully with a strong communicating competence; the message joins the public through the desires and dreams that “pictures” created by Vincent Callebaut suggest to the imagination of every single individual. The architectural object itself experiences this visionary aura: it remains surreal and changeable through time; and since it represents a reality “in becoming” it turns out to be even more convincing than some detailed and hyper-realistic images.