Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Olaf Otto Becker

 "I use the camera as a tool to understand the world around me...I try to look at something as though my eyes had opened for the first time." 

Olaf Otto Becker's Ice landscapes of Greenland are documents of a quickly changing landscape where the effects of climate change are becoming painfully visible. Becker's dramatic photographs document the pure, unspoiled world of the glaciers. But what isn't so obvious in the photography, is how much is this pristine beauty is changing over time. Each of Becker's most recent images contain precise GPS data: seconds and minute degrees, similar to a scientific experimental set-up. 
"When I am photographing, I am very conscious of what this same view might look like in fifty or one hundred years, even five hundred years," he says. "How will it have changed? Will all the ice and snow be gone?"  During the last few years, the rate of ice loss has increased to 222 cubic kilometres per year from a  previous annual ice loss of just 131 cubic kilometres. Much of this ice was lost during the extremely warm summer of 2007, when over 350 cubic metres of ice melted away in just two months. Becker's decision to include GPS data in the titles was done partly so he could return to the same location in the future, but also "for the future documentarians of global warming." Becker admits that his primary interest is in taking pretty photographs, but he's aware that his work is probably more important as documenting this moment in time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

John Brickels - Art in the Park

I've never come across anything like John Brickels fantastic sculptures. Each structure is so meticulously designed. Every detail, every rock, shingle and brick are so painstakingly perfect. You can get lost in all the details - some buildings have delightful little surprises hidden inside.

Gary Stretar - Art in the Park

Gary Sretar is another wonderful landscape artist that I came across at the Fair. These pictures don't even come close to doing his paintings justice. In person his large oils are so rich and warm with color.

Gary's art can be found at ArtPickle.

Janet Woodcock - Art in the Park

I fell instantly in love with Janet Woodcock's black and white photography. I have a passion for farm animals, so I was over the moon when I saw her adorable barn animal photos. The animals are captured in an ethereal natural setting. I wanted a dozen photos (I especially love cows) but I thought my husband might just have an attack, so I'll need to ponder the specific ones a bit more. It's so hard to make a decision, because she also takes unbelievable scenic photographs of gnarly trees and quiet landscape, which of course is my other obsession.

Check out Janet's wonderful website. You can buy directly from her site.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

William McCarthy - Art in the Park

Art in the Park -- I love spending a beautiful spring afternoon looking at amazing art. Montclair Museum sponsors Art in the Park here in our lovely town of Montclair - and it never disappoints.

I came across some really wonderful artists.

William McCarthy, is a landscape artist who paints strictly from memory. He told me that all of his pieces are painted indoors. He sketches his pieces first in a little notepad. His sketches are probably no bigger than the size of a business card. When he's satisfied with the detail, the then paints amazing oils from his tiny sketches. His colors are gorgeous.

Kenyon Bajus

Kenyon Bajus's art is obviously politically charged and controversial at best. "Kenyon's work can best be described as graphic satire. From social and political commentary to pop-culture subvertising, each piece is laced with a polluted sense of humor and sarcastic wit bordering on offensive... but I do think his work is interesting whether you are on board with his political views or not. 

You can see more of his work on his website.