(WARNING: This post has pictures) I thought I’d share a painting I recently finished. It’s not going to win any awards. It’s a study that’s translated to art. But, in a sense, it’s what this series, “Graphic Designers as Communicators” will be about.
The painting is the fourth in a series called Biome. Biome is an ongoing examination of how humans, an organic living thing in a system of organic living things, shape the world around them in a way both foreign and similar to other organisms. In Biome 1: What Happens After They Are Built, the focus was on the reintegration of something like a steel structure, which we currently think of as the epitome of something man made, into the world. I will say that that particular piece doesn’t do visual justice to the entire thought. But I wanted to spark inquiry about life after the steel structure. It begins to become organic by how it is used and experienced. But then, in the distant future, is it still seen as steel or part of a new nature?
Biome 2: A Manifestation of Archaic Dwellings goes back in time, in a sense, to examine how we once built in harmony with nature.
We carved our dwellings from caves and from the ground. And yet we still used techniques that share the same aesthetics as we use today. As an artwork, compositionally it’s an eyesore. I readily admit that. In fact, I’ve often had the intent to split it in two and just make a 2a and 2b. The third Biome was about modern architecture – glass and concrete and lines and plans – creating something tall, like the trees we first emerged from.
Biome 4: Building an Industrial Bird Nest is more comparative in how we build compared to other organisms (in this case, birds). Our architecture is comprised of steel beams coming together and supporting each next beam. Visually I let individual birds interact as markings of building plans. The environment is shaped not just by the structures themselves, but in of the interconnected systems around it because every structure lives interdependent on the systems around it. Together they form a mesh, a weave. Like the nest of a bird and like an individual structure itself. But the industrial birds nest is made up of precise manufactured segments. This is the metaphor I use for a man made environment.
I try and show the reality in this piece as well. It sounds great to have an industrial strength mesh of buildings and cities creating an environment. But the reality is that it destroys the existing environment. This is what I want to tackle.