This cool photography series will make you rethink the NYC skyline

Viewers of Peter Wegner’s photo project “Buildings Made of Sky” are in for a mind trip with these gorgeous reverse-skyline shots

Buildings Made of Sky IX (detail)

Buildings Made of Sky IX (detail) Photograph courtesy Peter Wegner

In New York City, beautiful pink and purple sunsets and striking blue skies have long served merely as a backdrop for our horizon’s biggest stars: the skyscrapers. But artist Peter Wegner has set out to change our perceptions with his project "Buildings Made of Sky."

Instead of focusing his lens on the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building or one of the other mammoths, the photographer wished to showcase the negative space between our city’s towers. The project, first posted on The Atlantic Cities, provides viewers with a mind trip, where they think buildings have been doctored to look as though they’ve been covered by sky. (It's fun to try and identify which of the city’s skyscrapers received the treatment.) Close examiners, however, will realize that the photographer’s techniques are far more inventive than simple Photoshop skills. 

Wegner accomplishes his uncanny effect by taking advantage of the light and a clever reorientation of the subject matter in his display. By taking pictures in twilight, or when shadows from other towers were casting optimal shade, the buildings’ most noticeable features were subdued and the bright sky behind drew the most focus. Then the artist simply turned the photos upside down and the inverted image resulted in the skies looking like a buildings. "Who is to say which world is upside-down and inside-out?," says the artist in an e-mail.

"Back in 2003, I was walking around midtown when I noticed this inverted building wedged in between the others," says Wegner of how he made his discovery. "It was made of sky and it was upside down, but it was a building all the same. I kept walking. A block or two later, I had another glimpse of another invisible building. I took another step and it disappeared. This kept happening. I started taking photographs now and then, whenever the buildings conjured themselves up in front of me. Each time I took one of these images, it felt uncanny, disorienting, surreal."

Wegner displays his pieces both alone and as a part of a large 60-picture grid, a format that echoes the layout of New York's streets and the city's angular architecture. His work can be seen in his book Buildings Made of Sky.

Buildings Made of Sky IX

Buildings Made of Sky IX Photograph courtesy Peter Wegner

Buildings Made of Sky III

Buildings Made of Sky III Photograph courtesy Peter Wegner

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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