Iconic abstract map-art
Bhaval Shah Bell
My paintings are abstractions of maps: countries, cities, towns, areas. I think of my work as geographical portraits, playing with boundaries and distortion to challenge actual contours. I explore maps as loose shapes to create fluid images.
People connect deeply with where they are from, giving them a strong sense of identity. I’ve seen that individuals also relate powerfully to maps of places that are important to them. I like the fact that shapes of countries, when taken out of context, can be unrecognizable and abstract to most, but extremely identifiable to the owner. As a result of my own multi-cultural background, I have embraced the different geographies that I have been associated with, and this reflects heavily in my work.
The map’s shape is the inspiration for each painting. My initial “sketches’ and ideas are conducted digitally where I decide on colors and composition. I then paint the final piece on canvas with acrylic paint.