Art & Industry

Today I met up with a director of the National Wildlife Fund to organize an upcoming rally for the nation-wide November 6th protests. Before leaving, she handed me a book. “This has just been laying around here,” she said. “Read it.” I looked at its boring, outdated, serif text and ugly and outdated cover art and already knew it would make a perfect coaster. But when I got back to my dorm, I found myself bored and in the mood to do anything but study. I cracked it open, and after the first few pages was already filled with a sense of disgust and dread. In just a year, we create enough trash to encircle the earth 300 times over. That’s just the US. Industry is seen as an asset, but it’s slowly destroying us. It just so happens that today I discovered the work of Drew Etienne, an artist with a noble cause and powerful message:

Throughout our modern age, we’ve ignored the negative effects that industrialization has had on the world around us. The consequences of our neglect loom over us as we seek shelter in man-made alternate realities. How can we expect to exist in these digital realms once our physical reality can no longer support them? My paintings, at times surreal, at times abstract, are expressions of our post-industrial societies and their false sense of superiority over the natural world. My work is directed by vivid memories of childhood surroundings, a passion for succeeding and finding solutions, and a refreshing contentment in the fact that even if there appears to be a sensical structure to the universe, it does not necessitate a logical explanation.
–Drew Etienne

How fitting, right? Today is becoming a day of enlightenment for me. Hopefully, Etienne will enlighten you too.

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