“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.”
Brice visualizes the planet’s transformation by abstractly depicting distinct ecological eras. Abstract calligraphic complexity meets ecological entropy in the work, while horizon-less landscapes become analogous to the topology of modern day cyberspace.
The landscapes, all found in earth’s current holocene topography, forge a greater context for understanding the transformation of the planet through its natural, ecological evolution and more recent human modernization, fundamentally connecting past, present, and future.
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.
Deep in the recesses of our DNA, etched as deep as the Mariana trench, 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 Asher B. Durand, Mark Rothko, NASA satellite imagery, climate change and biology.
Born and raised in Maplewood, NJ, and resident of Asia for nearly two decades, Brice has spent the last 20 years traveling extensively around the world on commission to visually document our changing planet.
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