“Modernity signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.
This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised, or neglected.”
Sampling from the topography of the current holocene, these works attempt to forge a greater context for understanding the transformation of the planet through both natural forces and human intervention, fundamentally contextualizing past, present, and future. The unfathomable made slightly more fathomable. Slivers of geological time become visual metaphors for the continuum of time.
The images are created through a photographic process, are abstracted by scale, and gently nudged into the realm of painting and works on paper. Horizon-less aerial images and data dense hyper-focal landscapes become analogous to the topography of modern day cyberspace and the increasingly digital world in which we live, ultimately exploring our primal relationship with the earth.
Polar ice, snows and water depict a Neptune like planet where time stands still. Reaching back to the Precambrian Super Eon, 1 to 2 billion years ago, when our planet resembled a giant snowball, ice fragments, fissures form, opening to a dark, deep abyss.
Etched deep in the recesses of our DNA, are the woods. Yet deep in the urban jungles many of us eek out our lives. Green becomes a salve for our modern, urban wounds inflicted by a life of speed dating, subterranean travel, jack hammers, and fitness centers. Two dimensional biophilic bandages. Mirroring the data rich world we live in today, these representations are in high definition, designed to overwhelm the senses, but not underwhelm the spirit. Welcome home.
201X, The Holocene, our current epoch, an “interglacial” period in our current ice age, appears as though born from the mind of a science fiction horror tale, where horizons have been erased, analogous to the topography of cyberspace that defines and consumes our very age. This might not be your home, but this is, alas, our home.
A place we retreat to when we have run out of options. Imaginary lands where life continues. As sophisticated animals at the top of the food chain, we are adaptable, we have adapted. Evolution is within us. The planet becomes an abstraction of itself, while life becomes the subject of natural history.
Justin Brice (b. 1974) is an American visual artist whose large-scale photographs explore the themes of ecology, time and change. His abstract painterly images chart earth’s geological continuum, using the planet’s modern day topography as a visual metaphor for the past, present and future.
His work is inspired by French wanderlust surrealists poets, Northern Song Dynasty landscape painters, Japanese Woodblock printing, the paintings of the Hudson River School, Mark Rothko, NASA satellite imagery, climate change and biology.
Born and raised in Maplewood, NJ, next to the home of Asher B. Durand, and a few blocks from the Hammond Map company, cartography, painting and the natural world organically overlapped at young age.
A resident of Asia for nearly two decades, Brice was recently nominated for the 2014 Sovereign Art Prize by UCCA Beijing director Philip Tinari. His work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Sovereign Art Foundation
Nominated for the Sovereign Art Prize by UCCA Director Phil Tinari
Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong
2 September - 7 October 2012
Noorderlicht International Photofestival
Museum Belvédère, Heerenveen/Oranjewoud, Netherlands