In recent years my paintings have explored the precarious relationship between Technology and Nature.
In our time, Climate Change has given way to a Nature that can no longer be seen as separate and apart from extended objects.
The 2012 Tsunami and the Meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant is a case in point; The tsunami was made more dangerous by the human-made events before and subsequent to the great wave. In the aftermath an army of workers dressed in paper suits went about to measure and to clean up after the devastation with shovels and even sticks— a puny response but a revealing one.
I am interested in these responses because I believe they reveal who we really are despite our advanced technological civilization.
Although I do not use the term “Realist” to describe these works, Art History informs my work. In the Nineteenth Century the Industrial Revolution had caused cultural anxiety. In Europe, positivist thinking produced Realism; In North America, Thomas Cole warned of the decadence of Europe* in which hubris had led civilization to ignore Nature and was thus, in peril. He developed a painting style in which narrative and philosophical discourse was embedded in Landscape. His optimistic outlook advocated for a “Development” in which Civilization and Nature would seek balance in the New World; although he was too optimistic, he realized the central tension in North American painting in every genre that was to follow.
* The Course of the Empire Cycle