Vladimir Antaki

For his series, The Guardians, Antaki traveled across Europe, the Middle East and America, photographing shopkeepers or “Guardians.” These Guardians are keepers of what Antaki terms “urban temples,” unique spaces which, in an age of cookie-cutter, corporate shops, hearken back to an earlier time and mode of urban life. Antaki creates visually arresting portraits of the Guardians in their urban temples that make the viewer connect to the beauty of these often forgotten spaces. Antaki believes that these temples are the heart and soul of every city; they are what give the urban centre its uniqueness in time and place. There is also a duty of memory associated with these spaces. As so many of them are closing, it falls to artists such as Antaki to preserve their memory.

"Through his photographic survey, Antaki addresses the social value and fragile nature of individualized work in an increasingly homogenized, consumerist society. In our highly technological era, where the past is quickly forsaken by a lust for the newest, latest, and greatest, the economic conditions supporting those purveyors of our quirky cultural “heirlooms” are gradually becoming more tenuous. Work places themselves are increasingly democratized, depersonalized and scaled-up for the sake of commercial efficiency. The artist sees this, and he responds. The sitters tell their stories, but also implicit in these images is the close association of each person to the articles they have surrounded themselves with, which prompts us to consider the psychological relationship between each subject and their created environment. Antaki steps deeply into the treasured realms of these individuals. With his acute perception of the present moment and a gentle curiosity he eloquently takes stock, allowing us privileged access to the idiosyncratic wealth of the Guardians."

— Edward Burtynsky


November 9, 2019:
Paris Photo, 3PM, Grand Palais, Kehrer Verlag Booth, Paris,France

November 8, 2019:
Royal Monceau - Raffles, 6-8PM, Paris, France

October 24, 2019:
Papercup, 6-8PM, Beirut, Lebanon

July 2, 2019:
Les Rencontres d'Arles, 5PM, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, Arles, France

May 17, 2019:
Photo London, 4PM, Kehrer Verlag Booth, London, UK

May 2, 2019:
Blue Sky Gallery, 6PM, Portland, Oregon, USA

The Guardians book

Street installation in Montréal

Jainul, NYC

Marie, Montréal

Baba, Paris

Birdman, NYC

Mario, Mexico

Daniel, Las Vegas

Léo, Paris

Charles, Philadelphia

Fouad, Beirut

Laide, Miami

Valentin, Berlin

Alyssa-Ann, Montréal

Richard, Montréal

Anastacia - Philadelphia

Anastacia, Philadelphia

Emily, London

Yacek, London

Radovan, Vienna

Mark, Montréal

Mehmet, Istanbul

Abraham, Beirut

Rachid, Paris

Edwige, Paris

Jean-François, Paris

Abou Georges, Beirut

Corey, Montréal

Miloud, Marrakesh

Guylaine, Montréal

Yacek, Paris

Ernst, Vienna

Pierre, Bordeaux

Vincent, Paris

Frank, Paris

Street installation in Philadelphia

Street installation in Toronto

Street installation in Toronto

Street installation in Toronto

Street installation in Toronto

Street installation in Montréal

Street installation in Montréal

Street installation in Philadelphia

Institut Français de Beyrouth

Institut Français de Beyrouth

Institut Français de Beyrouth

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris

Using Format