British artist Babak Ganjei paints the famous living rooms of classic ’90s sitcoms. Jerry Seinfeld’s sofa L-shapes its way through that iconic apartment; Chandler and Joey’s brown armchairs face the front door, waiting for a friend to burst through; while the Simpsons’ TV room braces itself for another couch gag.
At first, the pinpointing of a generation’s shared nostalgia seems like a bit gimmicky. But sit with these paintings for a little while and something more melancholy reveals itself.
“I grew up with television as company and in some way it may have blurred the lines between reality and fiction,” says Babak in this interview with It’s Nice That. Forced to share a room with his son in the midst of London’s housing crisis, Babak adds that his paintings “became quite a nice soothing way of reclaiming some of the spaces I’ve lived in while growing up”.
The series, titled Some Places Where I’ve Lived, takes us back to spaces that brought us comfort as children and teens, even though the characters that made them worth watching have now long gone. (The Simpsons ended for us after season nine). What’s left is a longing to go back, though of course, you never can. See: we told you it was melancholy.