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Return to: Josh Keyes

Artist Statement


I have always been interested in how paintings both past and present, have been used by different cultures around the world to express or illustrate stories and ideas that concern the transformation of the individual and the environment. My questions and observations of urban sprawl, oil consumption, deforestation, and the prospects for humanity have charged me in the continuous invention of a visual dialogue that addresses these issues.

This body of work stems from a cross-country trip I took across the US about seven years ago. I was moved by the force and beauty of the landscape, and also struck by the rate of land being cleared and developed. I think of my work as a distortion or amplification of a truth that I have seen, read, or heard in relation to environmental issues.

I am interested in the line, invisible or physical that divides the developed world from the natural landscape. I use fragments and dissection as a way to signify the objectification of nature. I feel that my work is meaningful, and yet it does not have a specific literal meaning. If there is any direct message in my work it is to draw attention to the complex interaction and overlay of urban development and the natural environment. I am also interested in describing the view or idea of nature as an expendable object.

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