Monday, March 8, 2010

Joseph Smolinski

Spinning Tree for Spent Oil. 2008. Watercolor and graphite on paper. 15 x 22in

Cemetery (2009), Ink, watercolor and graphite on paper, 26 x 40 inches

Still from Tree Turbine Study (Rest Stop). 2007. mixed media.

Temple. 2008. Graphite on Paper. 11 x 14in

Joseph Smolinski is from the midwest, he went to University of Wisconsin River Falls and he received his MFA at University of Connecticut.

What i like and want to take from his work is the environment aspect of the landscapes that he presents. Many of his artworks revolve around the idea of reusable energy and the landscape that it is depicted in. His illustrations show the blending of earth, science, and technology. He uses the idea of a "Frankentree" a tall deformed tree that has been inhibited with technological objects and features. The inspiration for this work was when he saw a cell tower that had been changed to take on the appearance of a tree, as if it would help rather than harm the natural beauty of the landscape. I feel that there's a hint of that in my work, whereas many of the ramps and trail markers that i photograph take on the natural aesthetic as to blend in with the region it's being photographed in. I still haven't determined how politically inclined, if at all, my work is going to be. I feel that there could be an element added to it to make it political and environmental, but I also feel that it could contaminate the work and that it really isn't about how destructive the manipulation of the landscape of these trails are, but rather about the shared aesthetics and architectural and sculptural elements that lay in wait in these landscapes.


"the more about the human relationship to nature as spectacle. We tend to have more fixed ideas about what 'natural' means than we are willing to admit, and we seem to put natural and unnatural on opposite ends of a continuum. But I am trying to poke at the way that the spectacularly natural almost turns fake - it's like a loop coming full circle."

-Nina Katchadourian
Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape.

"The land itself is in question. Power and politics trail in landscape's wake, because land itself is never un-ideological - at least not once humans begin to take its measure....Cicero called it "second nature," nature transformed by the human hand."

-Ginger Strand. (Essay) At the Limits: Landschaft, Landscape, and the Land
Badlands new horizons in landscape. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2008. Print.


1 comment:

hdbhandari said...

Just wanted to let you know that Joseph has a show coming up at Mixed Greens! It opens on March 18 (next week) and Joseph will give a talk about his work at 4pm in the gallery, right before the opening. The address of the gallery is 531 West 26th Street, 1st floor, NY, NY.

Thanks for writing about Joseph!
Heather Bhandari
(Mixed Greens)