New York, 1979-1992

Liberty above the Clouds

1979 oil on canvas 100x76 cm

Park Avenue South

1985 oil on canvas 110x134 cm

Refelection in the Pond

1986 oil on canvas 116x147 cm

Surrealistic themes and techniques of painting created by the masters of that genre had begun to influence his work towards the end of his stay in Los Angeles. He began to feel the urge to expand his artistic vocabulary, and soon his fascination with photo and hyper realism began to fully absorb him. With this turning point came a necessary change of location, to New York, the cultural melting pot that was to be his next stop on the arduous path to becoming a respected artist. Experts and critics recognized that these new works contained a strong influence of abstract elements within the hyper realism. Banziger; "The precise definition of my then used style is not easy to describe. I had the desire to compose something more than just 'pretty surfaces' and reach beyond just pure photo realism." As a result, he started to pursue a style encompassing photo illusions, thought provoking juxtapositions, images of people mirrored in the glass facades of the high rises of metropolitan New York. Continues Banziger; "Big cities are like human beehives. Here, there is a magnetic allure and fascination, containing complex socio economic currents, that give New Yorkers a narcissistic self image. They view themselves as masters of time and destiny, recognizing themselves and their attitudes in the 'mirrors' of the glass walls of modern skyscrapers. I tried to capture this haughty attitude and somewhat arrogant stance throughout this whole series of paintings."
The result of these efforts was a resounding success at West Broadway. Banziger's reputation grew through the acclaim received in both the American and international press, including a program on NBC television showcasing his work, and a lengthy article in the New York Times. The dominant role which New York played for many years in Banziger's life retreated somewhat in 1987, when he resumed his regular trips to Europe with a strong preference for Italy. He kept his studio at Union Square, but questions began to creep into his mind, about what made Americans feel so grand when confronting the rest of the world.
"The vitality and violence that was America attracted me and disgusted me at the same time. These ambivalent feelings are best expressed in a painting I did of the Statue of Liberty. The rose colored statue hovers above the clouds highlighting the irony of her message…that this is everyone's 'promised land'."