The Architecture of Cities: New Cathedrals

Palace of Legion of Honor: San Francisco.

I remember inhaling a firestorm when I first landed in New York City. I remember every next morning I needed the hair of the dog: Not from too much alcohol but to savor my intoxication: I had a drunken fever: Tomorrow I will live some more.

Nothing measures up to the begging: gasping exhortations: is merely the internal self pleading:

There is no substitute for a lifeline: there is not a lifeline that grants a life that dreams in reality.

Dallas/Fort Worth Museum of Art; Architect Tadao Ando.

Many people have traveled to more places and seen more than I have: For me it was this insatiable quest: I couldn’t be first somewhere I merely wanted to be anywhere.

The remnants of the firestorm left behind dreams not yet mannered: Dreams that I can point to: For one day that became more than ten thousand I dreamed I became the art world’s Albrecht Magnus: I thought to chronicle everything art in my twentieth-twentieth-first century art world.

The afternoon in Uzbekistan’s Bukhara was not a dream: I walked into the tiniest synagogue on this planet: there was a painting:

The morning in Saint-Petersburg’s Hermitage wasn’t extraordinary until I realized I was the only living walking eyes in the entire collection of galleries.

In Bukhara there was a mere masterpiece: In the Hermitage there were a thousand masters of the universe that left me gasping.

Rome’s Borghese Caravaggios were not mere entertainment: I heard my echoing footsteps: I saw Bernini’s dance the Watusi: For an afternoon I lived inside a fairy tale: I literally bowed to the greats as I exited into Rome’s summer furnace.

I stood alone frozen in Tokyo’s Modern Museum: The Samurai posed in European castles: The Japanese idols seemed so alone: But I was with them.

Klimt was alone in Vienna’s Leopold Museum: I sat on a bench with him: Neither of us moved.

The Prada’s Goya and Velasquez danced a pas de deux: I stood alone: I dreamed alone.

The places I inhabited for art in hindsight were merely a directive: These were places: fifty countries and thousands of creations/articles set aside their days for me to experience: I was alone.

Whitney Museum of Art.

An illusory caravan transported me across nations: It has been quite a ride.

I think the first part of my camera life was a means toward and end: The architectural cathedrals that were homes for art later caught my breath: it was the collection of edifices popping up in my mind like an opening sequence to Games of Thrones: That is what I remember most acutely. My days of rubbing my cheeks on the canvases of the Post Impressionist was coming to an end.

I realized I was standing naked in front of naked buildings A fantastical universe was staring into my eyes: my future was clear: I was given the tools and the heart to not only realize analog images of some of the greatest examples of centuries of architecture: But buildings that speak beyond art, and yet are art in my camera:

I see why I landed in New York so many years ago.

The Broad: By Diller and Scofidio

I remember Lina Bo Bardi in São Paulo: I remember the Maeght Fondation: I am begging to remember continents and buildings large and small: They suggest a vision that started seemingly after a dream that I haven’t had yet: The buildings were not blurry, but my memory of them is slightly blurred after an optical surgery: Maybe slits and slats prevent me from seeing what I need to see: The colors never seemed to be bright and emphatic like the dilated virile saturation following the optometrist touch.

After awhile I began to come to terms with myself: I began to see: I began to feel like a naked Buddy Bolden: My camera was playing sounds that only the Bayou could hear: That is when I began to retrace my steps: return to what I over abundantly and possibly unnecessarily bellow the “Cathedrals of Art”. That is where my visual education arose from.

I wanted to honor those moments: Now landing on continents, countries and cities made sense: It was about art, now it is the art of architecture:

Now I feel most comfortable like Being There’s Chauncey Gardiner: Tending to his garden is my life ahead tending to the photographs I need to make.

All photos by Richard Schulman.

Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.