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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Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin

Magical realism is brought to the cinema in this recently released, haunting and captivating movie that I watched earlier today. Much of the impact of the film is purely sensory. Cinematography that creates beauty out of misery; a 6 year old actress who is as captivating as the most accomplished Hollywood diva; enchanting  music that …

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Umberto Eco and the Gnomes of Gnú

“No doubt your civilization has some very interesting features: but if you bring it here we’ll loose our meadows, our trees, our rivers and we’ll be worse off. Would you mind not discovering us?” So said the chief gnome in Umberto Eco’s The Gnomes of Gnú, a children’s book beautifully illustrated by Eugenio Carmi. Author …

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“Water” not “Earth” – The water images of Hector Garrido

“Our world should be called ‘Water’ not ‘Earth’” according to Spanish photographer Hector Garrido. Water is a fundamental source of life and our planet is made up largely of water – as is our own body. Yet water has, over the years, received relatively less attention than the land in the environmental world. We talk …

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Gary Hume – Are the issues to big for any of us?

Gary Hume is a successful British artist who does not usually engage with environmental issues. He became involved with Cape Farewell and created some artworks in an attempt to engage with the issues.  As reported in an article in The Guardian, he found this a challenge: “How do you depict global catastrophe?” he says. “I’m …

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Reality in Abstraction – The Images of David Maisel

David Maisel’s work spans many different project over many years. One of his interests is in documenting through aerial photographs the impact that Man has on the landscape.  The image above is from “The Mining Project” where he explores the effect of mining in “undoing of the landscape, in terms of both its formal beauty …

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BP: Belching Petroleum – The Art Of The Oil Spill

It is not clear which is the biggest scandal. BP pumping maybe a million gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico (after all, industrial mishaps do happen); or the Obama Administration’s continued support for opening up more and more of America’s shores to oil drilling (when, after all, industrial mishaps do happen …

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