We spent six days camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains recently, in central California. And while my normal thing in art is not nature - partly because I think it does a superlative job itself of being beautiful and doesn't need art - I found myself nevertheless inspired, and full of questions.
This little piece depicts a bare patch of the side of a giant sequoia trunk, easily over a millennium old. There's no way to describe the majesty of these trees without seeing them in real life; they take your breath away. The height and girth of some resemble a skyscraper, and just one alone is an ecosysem.
And so, scrawling on them? Tattooing them? Clamoring again, homo sapiens, for attention and recognition, for eternity, like prisoners who fear dying in the cell forgotten? Scratching the walls of the cave, replaying a past before language, agriculture, and cities? It's a little tiresome. Also...sweet. You can imagine teenagers a hundred years ago declaring their love for one another, and what better place than the biggest tree in the world.
Whatever the right view, the act is simultaneously disturbing and curious, in the grey zone, refusing simplification. I like this space for art.
I do my best to use environmentally responsible pigments, varnishes, and other materials, all while upholding the strictest archival conventions and not losing anything in the way of color or vibrancy.
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