"Power to the People," archival uv pigments on brushed aluminum, 85"x30", 2018, Shawn Saumell
"Oh, The Places You'll Sew," archival uv pigments on brushed aluminum, 60"x18", 2018, Shawn Saumell
"Can You Hear Me Now?," archival uv pigments on brushed aluminum, 60"x21", 2018, Shawn Saumell
We reap the land; we reap the benefits…and we reap what we sew. Of the seemingly infinite number of planets in existence, Earth is the only one known to humankind to house intelligent life. Our planet is a gift that humans seem to have taken for granted. Have unstable habits created an unstable environment? Through global engineering, is natural is becoming artificial? Is nature is being replaced and resynthesized? Has urban sprawl picked a natural brawl?
Each of the pieces are composed of hundreds of photographs carefully composited and seamlessly stitched together. The pieces are then meticulously digitally painted by hand. The inclusions to the landscapes mildly exaggerate the environmental interferences and destruction that humans incur to ironically make life more convenient and profitable. The images are hyperreal and appear absurd, yet are not too far of a stretch from reality.These inclusions and human-inflicted landmarks are hidden in plain view. The quality of life on this planet is diminished in order to supposedly improve the quality of life. The serpent is eating its tail. Some medicate to help them deal with reality, change their perception, and numb seemingly negative factors. Similarly, the palette has been changed to candy-coat the environments so that the sense of destruction is desensitized and easier to digest. The result is a radioactive planet. What a beautiful mess we have made! Is paradise lost?
This is not an attack on certain industries. These have been progressive solutions to modern problems. I am not aware of anyone in the United States, or perhaps the world, that has not benefited by any of these innovations at some point in their life. However, these solutions have themselves become problematic. These industries were born of prolific entrepreneurs. Technology, science, and solutions have since advanced to cleaner, greener, and more sustainable alternatives. The same business-minded individuals and corporations have the power to jump a sinking ship in exchange for more profitable means, while healing our planet.