WORKS ON PAPER > MORE WORKS ON PAPER

This piece was inspired by a call for landscape pieces for a themed show entitled "The Future of Landscape Art"...I had been recently reading a book by the art theorist Denis Dutton with the title "The Art Instinct", in which he posits that our need to create emerged through our evolution as a species rather than as a cultural construct...He begins with an art piece by two soviet artists in which they had a census company poll various countries globally with questions regarding what they liked to see in their art...colors, objects, etc. There were staggering commonalities which defied the long held notion that two very different cultures cannot be compared as to the worth of their art, or if in fact something created in one culture could be lumped into the same category of "art" as another culture's as their aims, or the reasons for their creative objects were vastly different...
  Regardless, many cultures tended towards landscapes of a similar nature, which Dutton goes on to reason has its origins in our early ancestors' needs, when seeking out a safe environment to dwell within...tending towards landscapes akin to an Albert Bierstadt painting, or the work of Thomas Cole...members of the Hudson River School...who created these idealized, pristine nature-scapes. These lushly treed panoramas, with rivers and lakes, reflecting a radiant sky, and populated with numerous wild beasts, harken back to a time as we teetered on the brink of the full tidal pull of the industrial revolution...the calm before the smoky storm of progress. It was a time before all had been discovered, and everything surrounding us had been quantified.
 
  What will be the future of our landscape?
 
  Much of the contemporary landscape art more and more hints at themes like our encroachment on nature, or our out-and-out pillaging of it...Maybe there will be a time in the far-flung future when we will look to the cosmos to contemplate nature in our landscape art... the inky black sea of space...stellar-scapes...nebulae with spaceships…?
 
  In futuristic sci-fi movies the crowded cities of the future are full of massive concrete or steel structures, hidden in a fog of industry...all grey with almost no trees in sight. There we have to escape our own natures towards eradicating the nature around us by fleeing back into the wilds beyond the city walls, as in the films Brazil, or Bladerunner...
 
  The two pieces I created began by seeking out pristine, simple representations of a landscape at local thrift shops… and then altering them in much same way our own landscapes HAVE been altered and quantified by us in our industrial adolescence.
 
  What will be the future of our landscape ART?
 
  Here are my ruminations on the subject...

Found photo (author unknown), graph paper, tea stain, thread, pins...
How to Catch a Cloud... (and pin it down).
Mixed media
16"(w) x 12"(h)
2014