The series 'Sur/Real Lands' I made during the last couple of days of 2018 in the aridest regions of Spain.

I traversed the hill filled countryside near Zaragoza and Toledo, where, along the backs of the mountains, dried out streams had become farmland. Not only were these parcels easy to reach, but the soil’s moisture and fertility produced by the stream’s deposits helped farmers in the dry summer season. That is why in the picture we see there are exclusively two crops: olive plantations, which can bear the great heat, and wheat, which is harvested at the start of summer before the drought sets in.

Surely, the local farmers are not aware of what abstract formations their work has formed since they are only visible from the sky. After long hours of research and looking at satellite maps I was able to choose the most interesting sites. Later, on location, I photographed them in the best possible light.

The completed pieces are actually specially produced aerial photos that appear to be abstract paintings. They are landscapes with no horizon. The aerial perspective flattens the topography onto a plane, thus reinterpreting the landscape. Hills become patches and the slopes in between become lines, drawing map-like traces along the surface, which seems like a painter’s canvas. Time and space are suspended, and it is up to the beholder to decide what they are seeing – one-million-year-old geology, surrealism from the early twentieth century, mankind’s everyday struggle, or a prediction of future droughts.

The creative process takes these photographic compositions in the direction of turn-of-the-century Cubism, Surrealism, or Abstract Expressionism. Strong pareidolic forms in some of the pictures recall the work of Picasso, Miró, and Dali. Other works have no focal point like Vasarely’s art, reminiscent of patchwork. Or we see endless, frame-defying patterns in the vein of Simon Hantai, the famous inventor of the Pliage technique.

If this is truly how nature is, then could it be that we do not create art, we just already live in a realm of art that we have simply not noticed?

My works are awarded the Grand Prize at the 37th Hungarian Press Photo Competition and Award of Excellence at the 76th POYI (Pictures of the Year International) in USA are visual oscillations between the realistic documentation of a dried-out environment and the extravagance of painting.

The art pieces displayed at the Faur Gallery are actually composite pictures made up of multiple aerial photos. The largest ones contain as many as 100 megapixels. The unbelievably high resolution makes it possible to blow them up to human scale (1.5 meters or nearly 5 feet), so they may take their rightful place alongside paintings on gallery walls.

The 'Sur/Real Lands' series is one part of the Water.Shapes.Earth project. It is a chapter that uses aesthetic means to present and to document faithfully the scale of Humanity’s struggle when faced with a water shortage, as well as to demonstrate the water crisis that is now at Europe’s doorstep.

More info: water.shapes.earth | Instagram | Facebook

#1

Camino Del Molino

Camino Del Molino

Amorphous forms of hatched wheat plots, freshly cultivated areas and irregularly shaped lands covered with uncultivated dry vegetation were shaped by late streams and reliefs.

Villamayor de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 1310 m

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Amery 1 month ago

I feel like i'm in the Dali museum, back in Florida, tbh...

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#2

Valdemoracho

Valdemoracho

Spots of harvested wheat fields on the slopes of the hills where the moisture content of the soil helps the plantations survive the hot and dry summer season.

Parque Eólico Arias, El Burgo de Ebro, Zaragoza, Spain 07/14/2018

Size of territory: 928m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

This is beautiful, and reminds me of Matisse’s patrerns.

#3

El Pozo

El Pozo

Camino del Pozo, La Guardia, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 275 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

This is amazing: it looks like a painting by Picasso.

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#4

Valdecelada

Valdecelada

Cultivated landscapes reveal diverse layers of soil that has been deposited thousands of years ago by rivers of the Ebro catchment area.

Peñalba, Huesca, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 738 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

...and this one looks like a Miro.

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#5

Sierra Del Romeral

Sierra Del Romeral

Tiny parcels filled with olive trees on the slopes of Mount Romeral, illuminated by the last rays of dusk and the last day of 2018.

El Romeral, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 1584 m

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Raine Soo 1 month ago

This looks like an example of cubism.

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#6

Valdemoracho

Valdemoracho

El Burgo de Ebro, Spain

Size of territory: 695 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

More Matisse.

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#7

Esquivias

Esquivias

Farmers use small parcels to level the sloping terrain in order to retain the rare rainfall. The Landscape is gray because of the high concentration of borax in the soil.

Esquivias, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 793 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

This one looks like a Picasso head in profile, drinking from a cup.

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#8

Casar La Guardia

Casar La Guardia

Tiny parcels are shaped by long-gone streams and volcanic relief, while the red color of the landscape is attributed to the high concentration of bauxite in the soil.

The Cedron river basin, La Guardia, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 1130 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

...and more Picasso.

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#9

Candasnos

Candasnos

Stacks of straw, piled on the top of a hill next to a wheat field at sunset in the blue hour.

Near Candasnos, Huesca, Spain 12/28/2018

Size of territory: 264 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

if you turn the photo upside down, it would kinda look like bannanas hanging from a tree.

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#10

Barranco De La Virgen

Barranco De La Virgen

Wheatfields across the hills along with flat, sometimes wet areas where the moisture of the soil helps withstand the hot and dry summer season.

Barranco de la Virgen, Castillo de Alfajarín, Zaragoza, Spain 12/30/2018

Size of territory: 1400 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Something about this reminds me of the Dinosaur era....

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#11

Esquivias De Cerca

Esquivias De Cerca

Esquivias, Spain

Size of territory: 416 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

I see a big bird with thick legs in this one!

#12

El Presado Quadrado

El Presado Quadrado

Farmers create small parcels to level the sloping terrain for easy cultivation and sparse rainfall.

La Guardia, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 920m

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Amery 1 month ago

Parts of this are dripping Dali. . . ;)

#13

El Romeral Sur

El Romeral Sur

The tiny, amorphous plots are shaped by long-gone streams and volcanic relief, while the elongated plots are formed on the site of a former river or flat lake bed.

El Romeral, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 862 m

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Amery 1 month ago

My son says it looks like 'people at a party' taking photos... some sort of selfie?!?! Amazing, nonetheless.....

#14

Arroyo De Guaten

Arroyo De Guaten

From the aerial view former river beds only recognizable by their sinewy curves. In the dry area of central Spain, 30 kilometers southern from Madrid, we can see left behind water runs in form of cracks across the surface of once wetland, giving us an ominous look at what lays ahead as water retreats. Once River of Guate, today just small brook Arroyo de Guaten, provide water to the farmlands.

Esquivias, Spain, 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 710m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

the patterns are so cool!

#15

Sant Pere De Riudebitlles

Sant Pere De Riudebitlles

Small vineyards planted around with olive trees illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun.

Sant Pere de Riudebitlles, Barcelona, Spain 12/28/2018

Size of territory: 865 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Almost looks like a bunch of rooftops. Nice.

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#16

Valdecarabanos

Valdecarabanos

Patterns of alternating olive and wheat fields south of Madrid, in the catchment area of the Cedrone River, where these two crops can withstand extreme drought and high summer temperatures.

Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 1400 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Almost looks like a miniature city (or a large prison, LoL...)

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#17

Barranco Del Tollo

Barranco Del Tollo

Dry cracks and abstract patterns of wheat fields sweep across the hill filled area to reveal where the stream once flowed and where it deposited the foundations of the plants growing today.

Botorrita, Zaragoza, Spain 12/30/2018

Size of territory: 790 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Looks like a squid, crossed with some 'other' sea creature...

#18

Val De La Cierva

Val De La Cierva

Bujaraloz, Spain

Size of territory: 1090 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Wish I knew what this one 'really' was. Looks like dried and some live, tree bark.

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#19

Peñalba Soleado

Peñalba Soleado

Peñalba, Huesca, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 783 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle, with pieces that don't quite fit....

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#20

Valdemoracho

Valdemoracho

El Burgo de Ebro, Spain

Size of territory: 718 m

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Monika Soffronow 1 month ago

Small wonder that Spain has problems with decertification. This certainly looks like a landscape that has been under heavy agricultural use for thousands of years, not only for cultivating crops but also for herding animals by letting them roam freely. Moore wild trees are sorely needed.

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#21

Camino Del Molino De Cerca

Camino Del Molino De Cerca

Amorphous forms of freshly hatched wheat plots and irregularly shaped soils covered with uncultivated dry vegetation wind around rocky hills.

Villamayor de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 426 m

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Amery 1 month ago

I'd hate cultivating THAT wheat. :(

#22

Valdecelada De Cerca

Valdecelada De Cerca

The cultivated landscape reveals different layers of soil during cultivation and mixes with the green color of freshly hatched wheat.

The catchment area of the Ebro, Peñalba, Huesca, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 406 m

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Amery 1 month ago

More odd tree bark... LoL...

#23

Casar A La Guardia De Cerca

Casar A La Guardia De Cerca

La Guardia, Toledo, Spain 12/31/2018

Size of territory: 408 m

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Amery 1 month ago

More soldiers.

#24

Las Arroyadas De Cerca

Las Arroyadas De Cerca

Size of territory: 592 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Looks like a military base, with Soldiers at arms....

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#25

Val De San Jorge

Val De San Jorge

Trees on rocky hills form micro-islands in the newly cultivated agricultural area of Pina de Ebro near Bujaraloz.

Zaragoza, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 521 m

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Jackie Wacky 1 month ago

The trees look like pins in a large piece of torn cloth.

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#26

Vall De Mateo

Vall De Mateo

Size of territory: 626 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

I see a hook trying to catch a bird

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#27

Botorrita

Botorrita

Stone walls around the former hills determine the form of Parcells where we encounter only wheat, which is harvested at the start of summer before the drought sets in.

Botorrita, Zaragoza, Spain 30/12/2018

Size of territory: 428 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

anybody else see a duck?

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#28

Val De Sonda

Val De Sonda

Small hills covered with dark, withered grass was surrounded with crop fields where fresh wheat was just hatched. The tiny lines are stone walls to keep soil and water on the lands.

Villamayor de Gállego. Zaragoza, Spain 30/12/2018

Size of territory: 680 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Again, odd tree bark.

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#29

Peñalba Brumoso

Peñalba Brumoso

Cultivated landscapes reveal layers of the soil of different colors, deposited thousands of years ago by rivers in the Ebro catchment area, and reveal the amorphous features of the terrain, photographed in foggy conditions.

Peñalba, Huesca, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 803m

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Amery 1 month ago

Bottom of the ocean, boneyard.

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#30

El Presado

El Presado

La Guardia, Spain

Size of territory: 1060 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Looks like my back yard, needing the leaves raked.

#31

Vall De Mateo

Vall De Mateo

Size of territory: 835 m

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Amery 1 month ago

...and MORE trees. ^^^ This one, could build a nice table, LoL~!

#32

Vall De Mateo

Vall De Mateo

Size of territory: 947 m

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Amery 1 month ago

I see a snake, in an ODD place..... imho.

#33

La Muela

La Muela

La Muela, Zaragoza, Spain 12/30/2018

Size of territory: 714 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Looks like a beach that needs 'clean up' from dead sea life, et al.

#34

Val De Carro

Val De Carro

Pina de Ebro, near Bujaraloz. Zaragoza, Spain 12/29/2018

Size of territory: 775 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Dead sea kelp.

#35

Curvas Del Caracol

Curvas Del Caracol

La Muela, Zaragoza, Spain 12/30/2018

Size of territory: 702 m

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Monika Soffronow 1 month ago

"Curvas Del Caracol"

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#36

Las Arroyadas

Las Arroyadas

Colmenar de Oreja, Spain

Size of territory: 1660 m

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Amery 1 month ago

No idea what it 'really is,' Just looks like an 'odd' city.... in another country.

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#37

Vall De Mateo

Vall De Mateo

Along the dried-up river, different levels of cultivated soil reveal millennial sand-pebble deposits in different colors.

Fraga, Huesca, Spain 12/28/2018

Size of territory: 752 m

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Amery 1 month ago

Looks like the 'millenials' peace sign, in the middle...LoL.

#38

Calle Collados

Calle Collados

Jualin, Zaragoza, Spain 12/30/2018

Size of territory: 640 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

LOVE ALL OF THEM!!!! AWESOME PHOTOS!

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#39

El Meridiano

El Meridiano

Near Candasnos, Huesca, Spain 12/28/2018

Size of territory: 413 m

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Ahnnah Newell 1 month ago

this picture looks like something wrong...

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