Environmentalism has become a hot topic over the years, which takes on a double meaning when you consider that the Earth is trapping an unprecedented amount of heat. However, environmentalism is not only about global warming; it also concerns ocean conservation, wildlife preservation and a plethora of other issues. Everyone can get involved with this social cause, anyone from farmers to school teachers to activists to even artists. The following individuals are especially taking a stand for environmentalism through doing what they do best – art.
Gabriel Orozco is a Mexican artist with a diverse work of collections in photography, sculpture, installation and more. Within the last decade, he has explored ways to promote environmentalism and create inspiring exhibitions. For example, his 2012 “Sandstars” collection consisted of over 1,200 objects he recovered from the Isla Arena, Mexico trash repository and displayed them on a museum’s floor surrounded by photographs of the individual items. This trash turned into treasure opened viewers’ eyes to the vast impact we have on the planet and just how much waste we create. But the items also came together to create a diverse work of art, playing off of geometric shapes and ranging colors.
Leading an impressive photography career, David Maisel has used his talents to expose the areas left behind by civilizations as well as the effects of this current generation. Most famous for his moving photographs of environmentally impacted areas in the United States, his work has shown the long-term effects of military testing, mining and more. Although his photos turn out quite beautifully, they also hold an important message behind them and act as a warning for the effects we leave behind.
This world is sadly polluted by numerous toxic chemicals and runoffs, some of which can be found in our own backyards. John Sabraw, noticing this issue and wanting to do something about it, began producing his own pigments out of these runoffs that came as a result of abandoned coal mines. His visionary approach allowed him to use these materials to create bold colors used for paintings. John’s art has incredible meaning to it, as it brings the issue of pollution into the public eye and allows him to play a role in environmentalism.
These artists are proof that individuals of any background can use their unique talents to serve a bigger purpose. There is a lesson to be learned that one should never underestimate the active role they can play in bettering the world.