Artist Reimagines Modern-Day Landscapes With Van Gogh-Inspired Swirly Skies

Mymodernmet_ Over the last few years, Mexico City has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Among its main attractions is its unique architecture, blending centuries-old colonial buildings with modern styles. Inspired by its vibrant cityscape, artist Cizza Bernal has set out to capture the landmarks of the Mexican capital with his camera. Then, he elevates those pictures by digitally giving them a swirly sky that evokes Van Gogh's The Starry Night.

For Bernal, this has allowed him to marry his two passions—photography and painting. “I used to paint oil replicas of Impressionist works. Then, I initiated myself in photography and realized that I knew all the rules of composition thanks to my painting experience,” he tells My Modern Met. “It was as if magically I already knew how to take photos thanks to painting, but photography wasn't enough to express myself.” And so he came up with a unique technique, which he describes as “digital photographic intervention.”

In his works, the painterly sky evenly shares the spotlight with the architecture of Mexico City, from the opulent Palacio de Bellas Artes—a recurring subject of Bernal's work—to glass-and-steel skyscrapers like the World Trade Center and the Torre Latinoamericana. To him, the city is an endless source of inspiration. “I wish I could show you the hundreds of photographs I have taken of Mexico City,” the artist says. “Every time I go out to take another photo, it's as if it were a new place. The light, the weather, the scene, and the motivation always change and that's what makes it such a magical place.”

Like many creatives before him, Bernal has been drawn to Van Gogh's oeuvre, exploring a rich body of work that changed the art landscape forever. “Absolutely everything about Van Gogh inspires me,” the artist explains. “The strength of his strokes, mainly in his skies. I am very inspired by his story, and I think that creating these works inspired by him is my way of paying tribute to who he was and continues to be.”