Global Warming

Global Warming • triptych • 4ft h x 9 ft w • oils

Global Warming • triptych • 4ft h x 9 ft w • oils

The Idea

The idea for this triptych was inspired by an editorial in Time magazine about how science and politics have clashed throughout the ages. I split the visual concept into three stages: Science, Global Warming and Politics.

A triptych in the works

My “Science” painting considers the many people who have spent years or a lifetime proving their theories about the Earth despite the powers that be.

"Facts About The Earth Believed To Be False" • oil • 48hx36w

“Facts About The Earth Believed To Be False” • oil • 48hx36w

I decided that Christopher Columbus (the Earth is round) and Galileo (the Earth revolves around the sun) and would be my subjects.

"Facts About The Earth Believed To Be False" • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

“Facts About The Earth Believed To Be False” • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

Fun with stage props

Next came our current Earth debate, Global Warming. I wanted to define it visually.

"Global Warming" • oil • 48hx36w

“Global Warming” • oil • 48hx36w

The results of global warming are stronger storms and intense heat.

"Global Warming" • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

“Global Warming” • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

I borrowed from classic paintings and sculpture to create this section. Rembrandt was my model for the storm prop and Toulouse-Lautrec’s “At the Moulin Rouge” inspired the sun prop.  The women, who have their backs to us, are holding the weather.

"Global Warming" • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

“Global Warming” • oil • 48hx36w (Detail)

Rodin helped out with the central figure, but I substituted a man for his statue “The Fallen Caryatid”. I borrowed the story of Atlas, who held the universe on his shoulders, and substituted the Earth. The stars are at his feet.

"Politics as Sculptor" • oil • 48hx36w

“Politics as Sculptor” • oil • 48hx36w

The last section I personified politics as a sculptor. The sculpture shows the Earth on the shoulders of Man. (The body is the Belvedere Torso, a Greek sculpture that wowed Michelangelo.) Under the sculpture are some books, Ethics, Logic and “Cave Canum” – beware the dog. (Taken from a mosaic in Pompeii.) below that are actual dogs.

All the world’s a stage

The characters in this performance are on the stage playing their parts: Science, Global Warming and Politics. They ponder, dance, sculpt and monologue. The curtain stays up as this play is far from finished.

Peter Selz and Special Thanks to Art Teachers (The Name Dropping Section of the Blog!)

Peter Selz chose “Politics as Sculptor” to be included in and exhibit called “Visual Politics: Art and the American Experience” at the Santa Cruz Art League in 2008.

I would like to thank my Professors Willie Brownlee, Willie Suzuki, Robert Kobashi, Andy Fagan and Harrison Storms from El Camino College and Professor Noah Buchanan from UC Santa Cruz and  Cabrillo College -who’s class the initial drawing was created for.

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