Plate Tectonics

grant whipple

Oil on Canvas
48" x 72" diptych


artist website

artist statement

Every square mile of ocean now contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. The sea level is rising at an unprecedented rate of 3.2 millimeters per year. Ninety companies are responsible for a shocking two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. A devastating typhoon passes through the Philippines and truncates the lives of 5260 people. My paintings magnify the textures of this current geological epoch of the Anthropocene through the minutia of everyday life. While headlines often report the catastrophic changes we are causing as problems somewhere or sometime else, my work shows banal objects and moments in the here and now caught in a tangled web of ecological crisis. I find that paint is a medium that is particularly suited to represent the themes of ecological crisis as it comes to life in conjunction with artist, canvas, and viewer, as well as environmental contaminants as it dries. Safety becomes an illusion, separation from catastrophe an ontological fallacy. Rich colors swirl and moments of representational clarity become wrapped into a non-representational mesh. A new geological era demands a new aesthetic, and my work exposes a horrifying interconnectivity between all life and non-life from which even the painting and the materials that sustain it, and by extension, the viewer cannot escape.

more by grant whipple