In The Cities

Robert Longo's Men In The Cities series, created in the late 1970s and early 1980s, captures dramatic, life-sized prints of sharply dressed men and women in contorted poses. These striking images, often interpreted as a critique of the urban professional's existential struggles, convey intense emotion and the complexities of modern life, showcasing Longo’s exceptional command over form and movement.

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Meaning & Analysis

Robert Longo’s Men In The Cities lithograph series is a poignant reflection on the tension and alienation of corporate life in urban settings. Each print in this series features sharply dressed figures, often seen writhing or falling, against stark, white backgrounds. These figures, typically depicted in business attire, appear captured in moments of unexpected, dynamic movement, suggesting a metaphorical impact or dislocation.

The large scale of these works enhances their visual impact, confronting the viewer with the dramatic expression of bodily and emotional extremes. The series is a study in contrast: the static and controlled life of the urban professional juxtaposed against chaotic, passionate physical expressions.

Men In The Cities was influenced by Longo's fascination with movement and the human form, as well as his observations of people’s behaviour in the city. Inspired in part by cinema and photography, the series also reflects the impact of popular culture and media on public consciousness, tapping into themes of isolation, power, and vulnerability.

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