The Photograph Jerry Saltz Can’t Stop Thinking About

A composite image of over 1,000 photos. Photo: Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Among the greatest means ever invented by our species for housing and fabricating faith on Earth are those incredible stone edifices meant to conspire with the higher forces, the tools for knowing God that we call churches. In a series of huge, riveting, incredibly intricate photographic composites — some using as many as 2,000 digital images blended together to create an idealized form, with the highest spires rendered in the same painstaking detail as the lowest steps — the German-born Markus Brunetti prods you to wonder about lofty spiritual intangibles as well as the lives of the people who built and believed in these buildings and religions. Brunetti’s depiction (at left) of the cathedral in Magdeburg, Germany, put me on zap with its daring visual distortion and newly revealed symmetries. It’s so unreal it becomes its own reality: a trip to a weird architectural-digital-cosmic plane. 

Markus Brunetti’s “Facades” is at the Yossi Milo Gallery through October 17.

*This article appears in the October 5, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.