Alexis Rockman – Optimist or Pessimist?

Is Alexis Rockman an optimist or a pessimist? Rockman produces large, colorful paintings many of which depict a dysfunctional interaction between the human and the non-human world as well as the transformation in non-human systems that humans are causing. Rockman’s images do not attempt to depict nature in any kind of romanticized fashion. Rather bold in …

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There are chimeras – no more either/or. The work of Ellen Rogers

The work of Ellen Rogers brings focus to the question of whether the human is part of, or separate from, “Nature”. The giraffe sculpture above has the body of a giraffe, human front legs a mechanical replacement for its hind legs and is made of steel. It is an artistic chimera – an image of …

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Wildlife Made Homeless – Born Free’s Ad Campaign

For many people it is difficult to understand, let alone empathize with, technical statements like “loss of habitat”. This advertizing campaign from the charity Born Free aims to bring this issue into the more human terms of ‘homelessness’. Using images of animals placed in the context of human homelessness, the campaign tries to make clear …

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Animal Mysticism – Gregory Colbert’s Ashes and Snow

The images in Gregory Colbert’s Ashes and Snow remind us that animals have always had a mystical place in the world of humans. Started in 1992, Ashes and Snow is a long term project in which photographer and film-maker Gregory Colbert works towards “rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony …

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Naked With Pigs – Miru Kim

“These industrial environments are so desensitizing in that you, even if you are an animal lover, become complacently accepting of the fact that the live beings are only raw materials for mass commodity production. This needs some serious questioning.” These are some of the thoughts of New York Based artist Miru Kim in relation to …

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Robin Schwartz – Amelia and her Animals

Robin Schwartz is a friend. But that’s not why her work is on this blog. It is here because, for many months, I have been looking for work that describes a positive relationship between us and the non-human rather than the ubiquitous work that castigates ad nauseam the damage we are doing to our environment. …

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Henri Rousseau for The Year of the Tiger

Henri Rousseau’s naif art paintings were mercilessly criticized during his lifetime. He struggled, and failed, to achieve acceptance by the art establishment. Within a couple of decades of this condemnation, his art was hanging in the world’s leading museums.  So much for the establishment. Rousseau was fascinated by jungles and the environment they produce.  His …

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What does bullfighting have to do with the environment?

Recently I came across this story which was stimulated by an outdoor performance art event as activism. One hundred and twenty five people stripped to their underpants, painted their bodies and created a giant, bleeding bull in front of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. They were protesting against the imminent start of the bullfighting …

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Man and Animals – Amy Stein's Domesticated

How do you examine Man’s relationship with Animals and ‘nature’ in a way that doesn’t result in crass, clichéd or meaningless imagery? Amy Stein manages to do this with such a powerful artistic sensitivity that her images stop you in your tracks – well at least they did me. In her series named “Domesticated” she …

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