With his latest series of paintings, Seattle artist Philip Govedare pulls the viewer in opposing directions. The works, painted from an aerial perspective, portray landscapes scarred by pit mines and chemical spills. Like Edward Burtynsky, another artist who documents our impact on the planet, Govedare pulls us in with rich coloring and meticlous details, then forces us to face the fact of our environmental sins.
But the paintings are from didactic. Like our relationship with Earth, Govedare's landscapes are complex and open-ended, provoking more questions than answers.
"My work is both a response to and an interpretation of the world," he writes. "But it also imparts sentiment through projection that comes from a perspective of anxiety about the condition of landscape and nature in our world today. I endeavor to create a fictional response to an observed phenomenon, a metaphor that is infused with a blend of celebration, apprehension and doubt about our place in the natural world."