The Dream, 2002, commissioned by the artist
painted by Suhana Art Studio, Bombay, India4 Panels, Oil on Board, 22″x18″
In Bombay I found a studio that made portraits from photographs, placing the subject in the environment of their choice. I commissioned four portraits of myself based on snapshots taken by a friend. I asked Mr. Suhana’s staff to put me in a beautiful natural setting.
Inspired by the hand-painted movie posters in India, I had wanted to commission a series of posters for a character in a movie I will never make, a character I called the bad environmentalist. My friends asked me what the bad environmentalist actually does that could be pictured. Of course the bad environmentalist is just the person I continually find being me, doing the things we take for granted in daily life and dreaming of an ideal called “nature” that is elsewhere, whose protection seems a loosing battle.
Our sense of “ecology” comes from the relatively new science of understanding complex natural systems, but our own ecology has to include the systems we create. The ecology of my life includes technological access, sensory comforts, self-motivated mobility. The temptation for most USAmericans is to avoid connecting these features to a corporate-driven and often militarily enforced globalization process that is a motor of inequality. Our prosperity is sustained by exploitation –both of natural resources and labor populations without leverage in the world market.