Doura brings us the empire of man spread before the viewer like the vista from the perspective of the Empire State, the Space Needle or, in Canada, it would be the CN Tower. The restaurants that boast the spectacular views for those enjoying the city with the metropolis lying below moving as a minuscule traffic, banks of office windows and the neglected roof tops of buildings implying human activity but, for the viewer, it is far too high to actually see a person. There are no visible pedestrians from this height.
Along with the sophistication of urban architecture and the realization of millions of people living and working in close proximity, is the ability to place the artist's eye in the ominous position of overlord. Man has accomplished this. The secondary aspect, that of looking-down-upon reinforces the inherent status of this elevated perspective. The melding of the view and the viewer with the concept of humanity diminished by the power that allows for this tremendous perspective (planes and 'sky scrapers') places a philosophical idea precisely in the field of vision and through subject matter alone unites the world of seeing (the visual arts) with both the glory and the depersonalization of intense urbanity. If the job of the artist is to interpret his time, passing through his art the knowledge of his contemporary state, Adrian Doura has fulfilled the profile.
Add to the mix the fine, cool execution on a very good paper stock of an oriental-like brushwork with the gradations in tones reinforcing the perspective and the product becomes a succinct impression of sophistication, of a civilized culture that has within it's possession both architectural and engineering prowess. Far detached from the rooted naturist, yet executed in a realistic style that is even more intense in the almost photographically painted works, Doura's cityscapes inspire contemplation. They provoke thoughts of man's beginnings by referring to just how far he has come and in doing so the pride of human accomplishments are given a few minutes of fame within the bustling quotidian rounds that are needed to produce a cityscape. This is the world of corporate gain seen from an objective, distanced and least disturbing perspective, that of 'above it all.’
Copyright © 2007, Julie Oakes