Your Monday Mix. Enjoy!
Your Monday Mix – enjoy!
Own World © Jerico Santander
It’s Earth Day everyone – a day established to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth and our environment. Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970, Earth day is now celebrated on April 22nd in almost every country around the globe.
In celebration of Earth Day 2010, I present five artists whose work raises awareness about our relationship with the earth and/or use materials and resources in an eco-friendly way to create their art.
First, what is environmental art? According to GreenMuseum.org, eco-art is “in a general sense, it is art that helps improve our relationship with the natural world. Some environmental art:
- Informs and interprets nature and its processes, or educates us about environmental problems.
- Is concerned with environmental forces and materials, creating artworks affected or powered by wind, water, lightning, even earthquakes.
- Re-envisions our relationship to nature, proposing new ways for us to co-exist with our environment.
- Reclaims and remediates damaged environments, restoring ecosystems in artistic and often aesthetic ways.
And now the artists:
1. Sara Hall: Glass Artist – Hall’s recent work in architectural glass focuses on the integration of art and solar technology. Energy that is gathered through the solar cells is used to illuminate both the artwork and its surroundings at night. Hall says, “By forging an image with a source of renewable energy, we create a powerful story about how we can live in this world: It gives us a chance to dream about who we can be.” See more at SaraHallStudio.com.
2. Chris Jordan: Photography/Digital Art – Jordan’s photographs and digital photo compilations depict images of western culture’s consumerism revealing the startling statistics of our daily consumption. He transforms the data about everyday items such as paper cups, cell phones, plastic bottles, and other mass produced goods, and makes large-format, long-zoom artwork. “Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.” See more at Chris Jordan.com. An inspiring TED talk is featured on Daily Art Fixx here.
3. John Dahlsen: Environmental Assemblage Art – Australian artist Dahlsen creates works of art from the vast quantities of plastic and litter washed up along the Victorian coastline. Dahlsen says, “Making this art has been a way of sharing my messages for the need to care for our environment with a broad audience. I feel that even if just a fraction of the viewing audience were to experience a shift in their awareness and consciousness about the environment and art, through being exposed to this artwork then it would be worth it.” See more at JohnDahlsen.com.
4. Laurie Chetwood: Architecture – Chetwood’s “Urban Oasis” opened on 19th June 2006 as a temporary structure on Clerkenwell Green and is a demonstration of sustainability and renewable energy working. The 12 metre high kinetic structure mimics the design of a growing flower: its photovoltaic “petals” open and close in response to the sun and the moon utilizing daylight to generate power. This is supplemented by a hydrogen fuel cell and wind turbine to make it self-sufficient. It even uses rainwater it has collected for irrigation and cooling. At the base, the Oasis has five “pods” inside which people are secluded from the noisy and polluted city surroundings, enjoying cleaner cooled air and relaxing sounds. See more at Chetwoods.com. See the Oasis in action here on YouTube.
5. Aurora Robson: Sculpture – New York based artist Robson uses everyday waste such as discarded plastic bottles and junk mail to create intricate sculptures, installations, and collages. In the past year, Robson has intercepted about 30,000 bottles, saving them from their ultimate destination at the landfill or costly recycling plants. The fate of her junk mail follows a similar path and have now become part of her stunning ink collages. Robson’s environmentally conscious works grew out of her love and appreciation for nature and from the nightmares she had as a child. Her goal is to “take something inherently negative and transform it into something positive.” Her art is “ultimately about recognizing and embracing new possibilities while encouraging others to do the same.” See more at AuroraRobson.com.
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Good Earth Art: Environmental Art for Kids (Bright Ideas for Learning)
1. Catherina van Hemessen – Born in 1528 in Antwerp, Belgium. Van Hemessen trained under her father Jan Sanders van Hemessen and eventually helped him with his commissions as well as receiving her own. Her 1548 painting “Girl at the Spinet” is thought to be the earliest surviving self-portrait of an artist at work.
Creating mainly portraits, Van Hemessen’s subjects were often seated and were usually set against a dark or neutral background. There are no known works after 1554 after her marriage to Cathedral organist Chrétien de Morien. Van Hemessen died in Antwerp around 1587.
2. Paula Modersohn-Becker – Born on February 8, 1876 in Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Germany, Modersohn-Becker was one of the most important representatives of early expressionism. Women, motherhood and nature were frequent themes in Modersohn-Becker’s paintings. Her images consisted of thickly applied paint with forms that were rough and angular with bold outlines.
Sadly, Modersohn-Bercker’s career lasted just seven years. During that time, she produced more than 700 paintings and 1,000 drawings. On November 20, 1907, shortly after the birth of their daughter Mathilde, Modersohn-Becker died from an embolism. She was 31 years old.
3. Jenny Holzer – Born in 1950 in Gallipolis, Ohio, Holzer is an American conceptual artist known for LED sculptures. Holzer studied at Ohio University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Before she began working with text art, Holzer was an abstract artist, focusing on painting and printmaking.
As well as LEDs, Holzer also works with other media including bronze plaques, painted signs, stone benches and footstools, stickers, T-shirts, condoms, paintings, photographs, sound, video, light projection and the Internet. “Her works often speak of violence, oppression, sexuality, feminism, power, war and death. Her main concern is to enlighten, bringing to light something thought in silence and was meant to remain hidden.”
In 1990, Holzer became the first woman to design the American pavilion at the Venice Biennale and won the country prize for her work.
4. Lee Krasner – Born on October 27, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York, Krasner was an influential abstract expressionist painter and the wife of Jackson Pollock. From 1928-32, she studied at The Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design in New York, and worked on the WPA Federal Art Project from 1935 to 1943. In 1937, she took classes with Hans Hofmann, whose influence directed Krasner’s work toward neo-cubist abstraction.
In 1941, Krasner met Jackson Pollock and the couple married four years later. “During their marriage, she neglected her own artistic work, though she never regarded herself as inferior or dependent on Pollock”. From 1946–47, Krasner began to produce her first mature work, the “Little Image” series. “Three groups of Little Images emerged, all-over staccato dabs, thinly skinned, dripped linear networks and rows of tiny runic forms.
From 1953-55, Krasner moved into the medium of collage. She pasted large shapes cut from her own and Pollock’s discarded canvases in her works. Her admiration for Henri Matisse is shown in these and later works.
After Pollock’s death in 1956, Krasner created her most memorable paintings – “large gestural works generated by whole body movement. From 1959 to 1962, she poured out her feelings of loss in explosive bursts of sienna, umber and white. By the mid-1960s, she began painting lushly coloured, sharply focused, emblematic floral forms, taking a more lyrical and decorative Fauvist-inspired approach. During her last period of activity, the mid- to late 1970s, she returned to collage.”
Lee Krasner died in 1984 at the age of 75. Her will established the Pollock–Krasner Foundation whose purpose is to help artists in need.
5. Niki De Saint Phalle – Born on October 29, 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, Saint Phalle was a French sculptor, painter, and film maker. After the stock market crash in 1930, the family moved to New York. From 1948-49 de Saint Phalle worked as a model, appearing in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and on the cover of Life Magazine.
“De Saint Phalle is best known for her over-sized figures which embrace contradictory qualities such as good and evil, modern and primitive, sacred and profane, play and terror. Her exaggerated “earth mother” sculptures, the Nanas, playfully explore the ancient of feminine deities while celebrating modern feminism’s efforts to reconsider and revalue the woman’s body. In recent years de Saint Phalle made monsters and beasts into architectural forms for playgrounds and schools. These works demonstrate her deep interest in architects like Antoni Gaudi, who made organic fluid buildings incorporating wild fantasies and everyday objects.”
Near the end of her life, and after more than 20 years of work, De Saint Phalle’s sculpture garden, called Giardino dei Tarocchi, (Tarot Garden) opened in 1998. Niki de Saint Phalle died on May 21, 2002 at the age of 71 in La Jolla, California.
American mixed media artist Jesse Hazelip was born in 1977 and raised in the mountain desert town of Cortez, Colorado, amidst the Navajo and Ute Nation territory. He moved to Santa Barbara, California at the age of 14 where he became involved in the world of graffiti. Hazelip has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design in California and currently lives in Oakland, CA.
Hazelip recently finished up his exhibition, “Sentimental Journey”, at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco. This series features the human exploration of death and the lessons ignored throughout North American history.
“World War II greatly influenced this series, where buffalo are named after actual 1950s Bomber airplanes and beautiful Herons are rendered half machine gun, half bird. Jesse uses these animals to open a dialogue about the repeating mistakes of American history. Just as our carelessness have forced bison, an American icon, to the brink of extinction; so has war almost destroyed our country. The Heron is also fused with WWII artillery, although its message differs. This greedy bird is solitary from the flock just as Americans are closed off to their own neighbors. By using recognizable images, Hazelip hopes to reach a larger audience by making his work approachable yet thought provoking.”
Hazelip’s work has been exhibited in galleries throughout California. He also makes a living as a commercial illustrator working with clients such as Converse, Mishka NYC, and National Forest Design.
Sources: Submerge, Fecal Face, White Walls
“For the past 4 years, Israeli artist Know Hope has been showing his work in galleries and exhibitions worldwide, but mainly on the streets, in their natural urban settings. Know Hope deals with the short lived aspect of not only the genre itself, but also as a subject – the need of momentary connections in the everyday reality, and the common denominator that is the human struggle.
Through site specific installations, murals and paste-ups, Know Hope attempts to create situations that happen in real time, and are accessible to the public on a day-to-day basis, with intentions of creating some sort of a dialogue.
For the past year, Know Hope’s work has been revolving around the story of an un-named figure, following it and creating some sort of lifeline through its observations, mishaps and eventually its commentary. The figure is the visual manifestation of the human vulnerability addressed in all the pieces.
The re-occurring figure is used as a way for the viewer to create a “long-term relationship”, so to speak, with the character. Through different stages and situations of despair, hope and discovery, the narrative is an ever-developing one. Through the use of a vocabulary of iconography such as electricity poles, tree stumps, broken televisions and billboards, a whole world is created and is used as a visual metaphor of the world in which we live. In the gallery pieces the photographic backgrounds function as a substitute for the urban background which is provided organically in the street works.
The majority of the pieces are made out of cardboard, a choice based not only on the aesthetics of the medium, but on the essence of the material. Cardboard is often used to make boxes, to contain objects and transfer them from one place to the other, only to be discarded immediately after- it is always available, somebody else’s trash. The use of cardboard makes the content of the pieces physical- the urgency of creating temporary art for the street, and the liability and rough fragility of the same struggle addressed before.
Know Hope has garnered much attention over the past year with his paste-ups and installations as well as successful exhibitions in the UK, LA, Norway, San Jose and recently New York , Rome, Tokyo, Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles.” (bio from Show and Tell Gallery)
“Gregory Euclide is an artist and teacher living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. His attraction to the landscape originates from his experience of growing up in the rural landscapes of Wisconsin. Discontented with the flat surface of traditional landscape paintings, Euclide began exploring the relationship between experiencing nature with the body and creating art objects that depict that experience. It is in that transfer, where Euclide takes delight, manipulating cultural codes and blurring the boundaries between nature and artifice.
Euclide currently Teaches high school and college in the Twin Cities area. He has been awarded two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants and a Jerome Foundation Residency through the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary. His work has been displayed nationally from MASS MoCA to the Birchwood Cafe.” (from artist website)
“My compositions contain a mixture of landscape images painted on paper, which have been shaped into three-dimensional sculptures that protrude from the wall. The battered and wrinkled sheets of paper that are the foundation of these works carry a blend of imagery containing picturesque landscapes drawn from memory, photo transfers based on nature photography, abstract areas of raw paint, and actual artifacts from the land such as pine needles and bark. By employing multiple representational modes, I create tension between the cultural codes traditionally used to represent landscape. For example, pools of thick, raw, liquid paint at once expose the illusion of representational systems and mimic the properties of the rivers and streams they are used to signify. Similarly, the exaggerated folds of the thick watercolor paper transform the flat, framed image of the traditional landscape into a dimensional topography that cannot be completely owned from one vantage point. The three-dimensional forms of these new terrains — painted on both sides and containing hidden vignettes — encourage the kind of exploration one might find in nature rather than a traditional picture.” (from David B. Smith Gallery)
To see Euclide’s work in greater detail, visit GregoryEuclide.com.
Today’s images are by UK artist Andy Hixon. Hixon was born and raised in Manchester in 1982 where he earned a BA in Illustration from Stockport University. While in school, he developed his method of combining photography, illustration, sculpture, and digital manipulation to create his unique images and animations.
These intricate pieces are by American artist Kris Kuksi. Born in 1973 in Springfield Missouri, Kuksi grew up in Kansas in rural seclusion and isolation. “Open country, sparse trees, and later alcoholic stepfathers, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion. His fascination with the unusual lent to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him as it seemed, was beauty. In adulthood his art blossomed as a breakthrough to personal freedom from the negative environments experienced in youth. He soon discovered his distaste for the typical and popular culture of American life and felt that he had always belonged to the ‘Old World’. In personal reflection, he feels that much of mankind in the World today is elastic and fragile being driven primarily by greed and materialism. He hopes that through his art expose his audience to the awareness of the fallacies of Man. His work has received several awards and prizes and has been featured in over 100 exhibitions world wide as well as featured in international art magazines and fictional book covers.” (bio from Joshua Liner Gallery)
Of his art, Kuksi says, “I get inspired by the industrial world, all the rigidity of machinery, the network of pipes, wires, refineries, etc. Then I join that with an opposite of flowing graceful, harmonious, and pleasing design of the Baroque and Rococo. And of course I add a bit weirdness and the macabre. It’s all about how I see the evolution of what man makes his created environment look like.”
To see Kuksi’s work in closer detail, visit Kuksi.com.
Sources: Joshua Liner Gallery