Since human beings harnessed the secret of fire the natural world has been seen by many
only in terms of how best it can be exploited of its abundant riches. It’s amazing now to
look upon the desert sands of the Arab lands and know that this place, the cradle of earliest
civilization, was once known as “The Fertile Crescent.” All Europe was once one great forest –
until all those trees were needed to create the naval armadas of dueling empires. Only the
Earth’s natural forces, like earthquakes, have been more destructive and wasteful than humanity.
“The Romantics” were a movement of poets, painters, philosophers and others who launched
the first Great Dissent against the idea of our Earth as being only a resource to be used up.
They sensed the destruction of the natural environment would mean humanity’s own decline. They
sought preservation, understanding and, especially, the actual experiencing of nature’s terror,
awe, and sublime essence as the key to discovering one’s own humanity.
Humphry Davy, a Romantic philosopher, wrote that the natural world demanded “an attitude of
admiration, love and worship… a personal response.”
In 1849 Henry David Thoreau published his enduring classic, Walden, about his withdrawal
from society to free his mind and live for a while by a pond in the woods. The dissenting
current calling for connection with rather than dominion and exploitation of Earth has remained
a steady force since the time of the Romantics, especially in the arts community.
The first Earth Day was in 1970, another time of political upheaval and radical dissent.
Concerned scientists and environmental activists took the lead in warning of the dangers of
destroying our planet, focusing on air and water pollution and the chemical poisoning of food
and the soil. Laws finally began to get passed and a general consensus was finally established
that wrecking and using up the planet was probably a really bad thing. A cleaner future seemed
in the making.
Now the world is about to celebrate Earth Day 2012. And while the “green is good” consensus
still holds, it appears the headway that was made in the 1970s has now stalled out and even
gone into reverse.
Once again, it may be the artists who have to step up to make the world aware of the problem,
and with communities like DeviantArt, it might just be possible to really fire up intense discussion,
launch artistic environmental crusades and spur genuine change. The new “Romantic” artist response
to the environmental crisis may have already begun with James Cameron’s “Avatar.” Has any recent
movie or other work of art inspired such a resurgence of reverence for natural wonders (and contempt
for corporate environmental misdeeds)?
Now more than ever, as fears that human agency may be fueling global climate change, it is time
to take inspiration in the natural wonder and beauty and rhythms of our Earth. Perhaps artists and
others, once again embracing a “romantic awe” for life on this planet, can create the art and stoke
the passions necessary to swing hearts and minds back to the cause of Earth’s rescue and recovery.
"On April 15, 2012, a group of 20 deviants met in Los Angeles, CA to aid in street tree care. Partnering with
TreePeople.org, our deviants weeded, watered, and re-staked trees in order to create a more beautiful and green
neighborhood. DeviantART definitely represented, as deviants comprised the majority of the attendees at the event!
After a hard day's work, we ate lunch, drew, and talked all things DeviantArt. Thank you to everyone who came
out for such a fun and rewarding day!"
Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day began on April 22nd, 1970. Nelson took action after witnessing the extensive damage caused by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities.
In 2010, the Earth Day Network launched “A Billion Acts of Green” -- a service that allows individuals to register the actions they’re taking to protect the environment -- making it the largest environmental service campaign in the world.
Earth Day focused on clean energy in 2000 and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Nature's beauty is a blueprint on how to live a full life. It's her operating instructions that govern our behavior by engaging our sense of smell, touch, taste, and the visual splendors of color, texture, composition, and symmetry. By opening our hearts, nature uses beauty as a tool of survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with.
1How often do you actually stop to contemplate the beauty of nature – in a sunset, a walk in a park, a moment in a garden?
2Do you feel that the sheer amount of amazing technology now filling your life (iPad, XBox, etc) has dulled your sense of appreciating your time in the Great Outdoors? Do you think you need a better balance of the technological and the natural in your life?
3How much inspiration, as an artist, do you draw from Earth’s natural beauty? Do you have a special place to take a trip to, to experience for a while, to re-charge your inspirational and motivational reserves?
4Do you have any ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day that might be genuinely inspirational for an artist (or a simply environmentally aware and concerned person)?
5Where is the one place on the Earth you hope to go one day to experience, and why?
6Is there one law you wished could be passed, what would it be? Or if there is a single simple message you’d like repeated like a mantra in our schools like the Pledge of Allegiance, what would that be?
7What is the most naturally beautiful place on Earth you’ve ever been in? And what is the most horribly devastated by modern man?
If the subject is posed by the photographer, the body pulled and prodded into the desired angles,
the facial expression “directed”, it is the photographer who is intending to communicate a message.
In either case, posing or posed, there is undeniably something “false” in the representation. Perhaps
the only “true” thing being represented in this art is a record of how people being photographed or
people photographing other people misrepresent reality for whatever their reasons. Perhaps it’s human
to always want to show a life that’s a little prettier, happier, better.
Street Photography takes direct aim at this “falseness” by taking the camera into the streets to record “true”
documentary moments in life. The subjects are usually unaware as they go about their lives, having no time to strike
a pose to enhance or send a particular message about those lives. There are surely flaws in this simple theory of what
is “truthful” and therefore worthy of possibly being designated “art” as opposed to what is obvious artifice (posings)
which make the “art” designation more problematic. Certainly there is brilliant artistic photographic portraiture, but
is the art more in the skill in lights and shadows and operating the camera and other equipment itself – vs “capturing”
the soul of the subject?
Of course even in “the street” there’s the kids smiling for Dad’s lens in the backyard pool, and what could be more
posed than a celebrity red carpet event? But “real” street photography is all about the capture of unscripted, un-posed
moments from human being’s lives where and when a little bit of their true selves is exposed “naked” for just a moment,
and a true documentary of a true event in human history, comic or ironic, heartwarming or horrifying, is recorded for all eternity.
The Film Poster has existed since the earliest days of silent movies and the pulse-elevating excitement of the
first sight of an upcoming adventure, action, or sweeping love story that we might have only “heard good things about”
still packs a psychic punch throughout movie lovers today.
It is the first “portal” for the imagination into just what this new adventure (or continuation of an already beloved
adventure) is going to be like in a few months. It’s that sometimes simple, sometimes cluttered first collage of exotic
locales, speeding cars, blazing gun barrels, massively-muscled heroes and deeply-cleavaged damsels all projecting some sort
of explosion that tells you that no matter how badly your life may be going at the moment, just hang on because your needed
adrenaline pick-me-up is on the way.
Film Posters are a special form of art in that besides being one of the earliest experiences of art that we have, as portals
for innocent wonder, they are also purposely brutal as marketing tools that can greatly enhance or totally wreck a movie’s chance
at success. If a film poster does not immediately and effectively communicate the essence of a movie in a way the excites the desire
of its intended audience, careers can be shortened or ended. The American movie and the film poster art so important to its domestic
and international releases are at once exercises in dreaming and wonder but also coldly calculated tools for economic life and death.
Sort of both the light side and the dark side of the American Dream as yin and yang elements of commercial storytelling.
Film Poster art so totally insinuates itself into our conscience and subconscious from a young age, that our perceptions and
evaluations of all visual arts can’t help but be influenced by the leading “masters” of this special art form.
Even though his work on film posters have influenced every one to come after him or even the posters that might be hanging on your wall?
Richard Amsel’s Indiana Jones poster is so indelibly burned into a generation's brain that other art (in comics or even fine arts) not looking similar just don’t seem right.
It’s no wonder that there’s so much film poster fan art in deviantART. Re-imagining in attempt of re-capturing the first thrill of
awareness of what would eventually become a favorite movie is the sort of aesthetic wizardry that drives so many artists – to express
that first pulse, that first rush of what has now become an integral part of one’s “inner narrative,” one’s emotional and artistic
identity. It’s like a tribute to a core source of one’s evolving aesthetic and pop culture soul.
The best film poster art is almost magical, like a once-in-a-lifetime capturing of lightning in a bottle. The urban legend is
that director Ridley Scott (or was it one of his producers?) was checking out the test audience lined up on a sidewalk at midnight awaiting a
sneak preview of “Alien.” There he overheard one science geek saying to another what would become of his movie’s perfect poster tagline: “In
space no one can hear you scream.” That is “Alien” defined: the terror of no possible rescue in utter isolation. That is, in both its creation
and execution, real film poster magic.