Alexis Rockman’s extensive career includes exhibitions in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Wexner Center in Columbus. His travels have spanned the globe from Antartica to the Amazon, looking at both the Macro and Micro worlds of this Earth.
Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?…These were the questions that the Artist Paul Gaugin asked in his paintings of life on the island of Tahiti in 1897 …a land of blue water, warm sun, and bounty of both flesh and myths.
How do we answer those questions in a world where the waters are not all clear, where the sun is seen as a threat, and truth is murky at best.
How do we avoid clichés and wrestle with anxiety?
The late great scientist, Stephen Jay Gould wrote in an essay for Rockman’s work: that fiction is often the truest pathway to understanding our general categories of thought and analysis…and artifice often illuminates the empirical (observed and measured) world far better than direct description.
Paraphrasing Mark Dion, an artist from last year’s series, said of Rockman’ss paintings: “They don’t tell us of the variability and variety of life on earth, but rather of the collision of our complex negotiation between nature’s construction of us and our construction of nature.”
With both humor and tough questions, Rockman’s work probes and challenges us to consider the complex relationships of science, politics, religion, and art and the earth.
For more on his work, visit http://alexisrockman.net.