“Weltschmerz” and “Made in Sarajevo” are two series of ink drawings by Washington DC-based artist Ben Tolman. The first one is a collection made in 2016 featuring symbolic constructions which compress the city, with its social differences and paradoxes in a stack of floors, terraces, volumes and materials. The overwhelming scenes are sometimes filled with trash and debris or completely occupied by the detailed description of a shantytown where tourists conduct their cynical visits while a lost population wanders through what remains of our society.
After his visit to Bosnia, Tolman started producing his personal interpretation of the urban sprawl of Sarajevo, drawing very precise images of surreal constructions. Each building summarizes Tolman’s memories about the city’s features, mixing interior and exterior spaces, graffitis, torn-down elements, animals and shacks, so that each one of the invented constructions becomes a world on its own.
From “Made in Sarajevo”:
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All images © Ben Tolman