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Follow up: did the environmental/social concerns inspire the creation of the series?
Yes, witnessing rapid environmental change pushed me to not merely contemplate painting landscapes but to actually do it. As a visual person, it pains me to see ugliness overtaking our common visual reality. Every time I drive from Philadelphia to the shore, I am disheartened to see commercial sprawl wiping out whole sections of the Pine Barrens, where fields and forests are giving way to parking lots and box stores. The eye and the mind do not rest when confronted by huge signs and utilitarian structures that are designed solely for the objective of maximizing cash flow and minimizing costs.
Creating urban and architectural beauty costs money. Ugliness, the unfortunate alternative, is a visual manifestation of many conjoined problems--flooding, traffic jams, pollution, etc.--that have been written about by people much more knowledgeable on the subjects than I.
But in this landscape series I am trying to raise awareness of the value of natural beauty--which, incidentally, also comes free. I am up against formidable odds: even in fine art the concept of beauty has become taboo. There is no vocabulary to talk about it without sounding desperately 19th century.
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