Tag Archives: environment

Speculative Paintings of a Graffiti-Covered Earth by Josh Keyes 

"Descent" (2016), acrylic on panel, 8"x10"

“Descent” (2016), acrylic on panel, 8″x10″

Josh Keyes' newest series features subjects both manmade and natural, their common element being several layers of graffiti that cover a space shuttle, a melting iceberg, and even a whale’s tail. For the last ten years these marks had remained in the background of Keyes’ paintings, adding detail to the supporting elements of the environment rather than being integrated into the subjects of his work.

For Keyes, the decision to place graffiti writing in the foreground questions our relationship to the natural world, and what impact we are undeniably leaving on our planet. The iceberg for instance, is marked with the words, “I’ll melt with you.” This blood red message could be the voice of both the iceberg and the tagger, a warning that we will all be melting if we continue to desecrate the Earth.

“Are there things and places that graffiti should not be?” asked Keyes to Colossal. “Who is to say what surface is to be kept graffiti clean? My personal concern is that this will be a reality some day and speaks to a larger issue of our relationship with the natural world. The satellite and space graffiti hints that even if we colonize other worlds, what mark will we leave? No matter where we go there is evidence of our presence.”

Keyes’ will exhibit his paintings later this year with Thinkspace Gallery in LA. You can see more of his works on his Instagram and website.

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48", all images via Josh Keyes

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″, all images via Josh Keyes

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48"

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″

"I'll Melt With You" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x18"

“I’ll Melt With You” (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x16″

"Frontier 2" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x16"

“Frontier 2″ (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x16”

"Frontier" (2015), acrylic on panel, 19"x24"

“Frontier” (2015), acrylic on panel, 19″x24″

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Members of a Brazilian Indigenous Tribe Projected Onto the Amazon Rainforest by Photographer Philippe Echaroux 

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In a gesture to draw attention to the massive deforestation ravaging the Amazon rainforest, French photographer and street artist Philippe Echaroux projected the faces of indigenous Brazilians onto the forest’s trees. The projected images demonstrate the deep connection between the rainforest and its inhabitants, acknowledging the need for the preservation of their home and resources.

The photographs focus on the Suruí tribe of Brazil which is led by Chief Almir Surui Narayamoga and was asked by the Brazilian government to help replant their section of the rainforest in order to ensure and protect its longevity. Echaroux was invited by Chief Narayamoga to bring attention to the issue, which he highlighted through his projections.

Photographs from this series will be on display in the exhibition “The Crying Forest” at Galerie Taglialatella in Paris opening November 11 and running through December 15, 2016. You can see more of Echaroux’s work on his websiteInstagram, and Facebook, as well as a behind-the-scenes making of his work (in French) below. (via PetaPixel)

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Bright Environmental Paintings Focused on Survival by Artist Julie Heffernan 

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Artist Julie Heffernan's paintings are technically complicated, layers of detail filling her often 5-foot-tall canvases. Although enchanting, her environments reference disaster and distress, situations that peek into how we might reposition ourselves in nature after massive traumas such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

“We are slowly making our world unlivable, and I want to bring to the surface the destructive action, waster, and contamination that is generally invisible to us,” says Heffernan in her artist statement. “I need to imagine another way, to outfit myself with signs and banners that speak louder than I can, to envision how we might remake the world as it is slowly falling apart.”

Another far lighter inspiration Heffernan works with in her paintings is the childhood game of Chutes and Ladders. Like the climbing, twisting, and meandering board game, her paintings allow the eye to crawl up, down, and around the forests and mountains she paints. You can see more of these ambitious landscape works on her portfolio site, and read her own thoughts on painting on her blog, Painters on Paintings. (via Booooooom)

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The Good of the Hive: Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees 

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In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.

For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)

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Towering Murals by NEVERCREW Confront Equally Monumental Issues 

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Swiss-based artists duo Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni are the artists behind NEVERCREW, a street art collaboration that now spans over two decades. Through artworks that primarily take the form of large-scale murals, the artists seek to highlight and ask questions about some of the largest issues facing humanity from climate change, immigration, and humankind’s exploitation of nature. Seen here are a collection of murals from the past few years including a recent mural seen at the Grenoble Street Art Fest in France and others from Cities of Hope in Manchester. You can see much more on their website.

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Wrapped: A Stunning Animated Time-lapse that Depicts Powerful Plants Reclaiming New York 

There have been countless films set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic New York teeming with wildlife and overgrown with plants, both Planet of the Apes and I Am Legend come to mind. In this animated short titled Wrapped from Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann, we instead see the demise of the city as a vivid time-lapse that blends real footage, CG, and several of its own science fiction twists. The time-lapse begins with the death of a small rat that sets in motion the complete demise of the city’s human-made infrastructure that is quickly razed by super powerful vines. They share about the project:

“Wrapped” is a VFX driven short film by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann that combines Time Lapse Photography with CG to create a new reality. The short explores the effects of time and change focusing on the the world’s seemingly never ending cycles. The deterioration of one is the foundation for another. This fact takes on new dimensions when the unexpected forces of nature clash with the existing structures of our civilization.

Wrapped was originally released in 2014 and was screened at over 100 festivals picking up tons of accolades along the way. The film was made viewable online for the first time ever today. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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