Believing art is free of censorship pressure, Alexis Rockman, an American artist, has dedicated his life to bringing environmental issues to the public eye through his artworks since 1994. To visualize how North America’s Great Lakes, one of the world’s most iconic ecosystems, have transformed from some of the most important lakes comprising more than 20 percent of the world’s freshwater reserves to bodies of water experiencing huge devastation caused by climate change, he painted an artwork called Cascade in 2015. With this painting, he tried to depict how the lakes have changed over time and the changes the lakes will likely go through in the future. A huge chunk of glacial ice floating in North America’s Great Lakes can be found on the left side of the painting. This representation must have been drawn to depict how the lakes looked like in the past. Moreover, Rockman depicted several fish swimming in water filled with countless types of waste and large ships emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This depiction appears to have much to do with how the lakes look like today. Furthermore, he depicted three reindeer with more than half of their bodies submerged due to the melted ice sheet covering the lakes. This will likely happen in the future, given the situation that climate change has already devastated Earth. As this painting successfully depicts the past, present, and future of North America’s Great Lakes all at the same time, it will most likely alert viewers to environmental problems.
Yejin Hwang Staff Reporter
1. What can be found on the left side of the painting called Cascade?
2. Why did Alexis Rockman draw a huge chunk of glacial ice on his painting?
3. How did Rockman depict reindeer to depict the future?
1. What was your first impression when you saw Cascade?
2. If you were an artist who is interested in environmental issues, how would you have drawn your paintings?
3. Do you agree that art is free of censorship pressure?
4. Do you know any other artist who is interested in tackling environmental issues?