words Anna Bates
World Peace City is Guatemalan artist Edgar Gonzalez’s Utopian vision of a city. The piece is made up of 300 individual drawings to date, each completed on Gonzalez’s commute from Brooklyn, where he now lives, to Manhattan, where he works as a bartender.
“When I started the project I had no idea what it was going to be,” says Gonzalez, who was unaware of his talent when he started drawing, and just wanted to kill time on the train. Each section of the piece fuses buildings from around the world into one jumbled up landscape, and the sections link up to form a vast panorama. “It’s two worlds,” he says. “The one we recognise and the one we want it to become.”
Drawing on the train has its problems; the piece is full of buildings that exist just to cover up wobbly lines. But the commute is also very much part of the piece. “I got talking to someone on the train one day and he told me about a landmark in a town in his country for me to include. It’s like my biography,” says Gonzalez, who has spent four years working on the piece. “I can tell you exactly what happened and what I had in my mind when I look at every one of them.”
Gonzalez doesn’t yet know what the final piece will look like, but he “think[s] it will be round,” and estimates that there are another 100-200 sections to go before it is completed.