In the run up to the end of call for entries for the Aesthetica Art Prize, the artist of the day today is Herman James, who won acclaim for his work The Arrival, No. 1 in the Photographic & Digital art category in last year’s Prize.
Working in painting, drawing and digital photomontage, Herman presents compelling images of the global climate change, which threatens us today. Not interested in delineating factual specifics about climate change, he would rather focus on overt representations of a world in trouble. Herman refers to his work as visual bomb throwing – yelling from the cheap seats. Charts and graphs showing rising sea levels or the agglomeration of particulates in the atmosphere, while necessary, are not visceral enough to bring us to action. His belief is that alarms are in order – a shock to call us to action.
The Arrival, No. 1, shows a boy hunter quietly standing on an ice floe watching as a cruise ship passes by. The implications of this scene become apparent only slowly. The ship seems innocuous enough, but really it represents the end of his way of life and even of the very ice he stands on.
In New York, Herman James presented a series of paintings depicting some of the possible consequences of global warming in a show titled Consumption/Consequence. Paris-based arts writer Matthew Rose reviewed the show in Fallon and Rosof’s Artblog. The artist has also shown with Joyce Goldstein, Monique Goldstrom, NYU, Dutch Kills Gallery and more; in Berlin, Germany, with reinerTisch, Galerie Rothamel in Erfurt and in Paris at Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salpetriere. He was born in Portland, Oregon.
Make sure you get your entry into the Aesthetica Art Prize before 31 August. To enter and for more information visit: www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize
1. Herman James, The Arrival, No. 1, Aesthetica