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Design

Cities Made of Dreams and Paper

Bodys Isek Kingelez built stunning, colorful models to help people see the magnificent places in his mind.
Ville de Sète 3009. 2000.
Ville de Sète 3009. 2000. Pierre Schwartz ADAGP; courtesy Musée International des Arts Modestes (MIAM), Sète, France

“If you succeed in building a model,” Bodys Isek Kingelez once said, “you visualize what is inside of you.” Ultimately, the Congolese artist made his work to give others a look at what was possible.

A new exhibit at MoMA, Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, shows the late artist’s stunning and almost impossibly intricate sculptures made largely of paper products, paint, and glue. A mix of existing architectural styles and fantastical imaginings, the buildings are examples of what Kingelez wished the world could contain.