Friday, 28 September 2012

Catastrophic Visions

Artists don't seem to have too much trouble acknowledging the reality of anthropogenic global climate change. Sometimes they seem to almost relish it. Distopias and apocalyptic visions are part and parcel of contemporary outlooks on our not so hopeful future. Let's hope that these catastrophic visions turn out to be merely warnings that help us stave off the worst possible outcomes. But what is it anyway about doomsday predictions that captivate and even entertain us so?
Alex Lukas' vision of the coming crisis is centered squarely on global warming and takes two main forms; Cityscapes either submerged by risen oceans or engulfed in noxious gases, or a panoramic view of a semi-submerged marshy heartland. The latter are wide sweeping vistas that capture the vastness of the desolation. The skies are never clear The only islands that rise above the waterlogged plains are the abutments of old overpasses now covered with clinging weeds and punctuated here and there by the skeletal remains of paltry trees. Much of the exposed man made material is colored in brightly patterned graffiti as if during the gradual collapse, a kind of anarchic attempt at order was imposed upon the land by vigilante designers. Or perhaps they are the remnant designs of desperate advertisers trying to eke out every last man made space in pursuit of a vanishing market economy. It is the details and nuances of these panoramas that really make them come alive, if I can use that metaphor for what are essentially depictions of a dying world.
note: because of the format you may want to click on some of the images below to view them somewhat larger. The details really matter.
More of Alex Lukas' work including installations and print/design work can be seen on the artist's website: alexlukas
Many paintings that are not on the artist's website can be seen at:

untitled ink,acrylic,gouache,watercolor,silkscreen on paper 17"x50" 2012
untitled ink,acrylic,gouache,watercolor,silkscreen on paper 25"x72" 2012
untitled ink,acrylic,gouache,watercolor,silkscreen on paper 25"x72" 2012