Sunday, October 16, 2011

Art as Change

I believe that all art has something to say, that it brings about a change in the viewer and hopefully a change in the world.  All art is political, even art that is not striving to be political.  Art that does not make a political statement just supports the status quo.  As an artist I strive to be an agent of change.  My work is conceptual; the idea comes first before aesthetic considerations.  At first glance my paintings appear to be conventional landscapes, but there is more to them.  With traditional appeal I invite a broad audience.  But first I start with the theme of the work and the desire to bring about change in ideas. 

What is this theme for me?  Everything I do has an environmentalist message.  Before I began my recent series of paintings I thought a lot about how we have polluted the ground, air and water.  I thought about how we have altered fragile ecosystems and put plant and animal species at risk.  We have created an uncertain future for coming generations.  Yet most of us go about our daily lives without taking notice of any of this. 

My work is about our ability, or not, to find a balance with the environment.  The paintings have a multidimensionality quality that expresses different levels of awareness and ability concerning that equilibrium with nature.  A viewer of my art can look and see only a painted landscape without taking notice of any message.  They can discern my use of repurposed materials and consider the sustainable theme.  They can see the juxtaposition of a nature scene with the rusty surface, cast-off from our industrialized world.  These coexisting views reflect my aim to unveil layers of our reality, and to acknowledge how things are more than they appear.  I try to draw the viewer in regardless of their experience with art.  Message, material and method come together in a painting to change a person’s perspective and potentially change their thinking.