Read on for the artist’s inspiration behind the works…
Sky Drawing A (2011), Graphite and India Ink on Paper, 11″ x 14″
Sky Drawing C (2011) Graphite and India Ink on Paper, 12″ x 17″
Sky Drawing D (2011) Graphite and India Ink on Paper, 11″ x 14″
A B O U T S K Y D R A W I N G S:
“I made the Sky Drawings in 2011, around the time I was creating work for a show called Different Country (Like the Spice Gallery, NY).
The idea for that show was to approach the idea of the ‘American sublime’ — a landscape which is both beautiful and terrifying. Looking back through photographs from the previous several years, I was captivated by a group of photos I had taken near my hometown of Richland, Washington. Richland is a small berg in the desert of south eastern Washington State. It has the mixed privilege of being near the Hanford Nuclear site, which produced the majority of the plutonium for nuclear weapons during the 20th century. So, I rew up in a Cold War town.
I’m including one of my source photos here. As you can see, the sky in my hometown is a crystalline blue gradient which spans 180 degrees from horizon to horizon. That evening, the clouds spread across the sky like a gentle, variegated foam. To the left is the sun, too hot to look at, rupturing the photograph with a white hot flare.
That flare was the key to me. It speaks about the violence of nature, and that in life, beauty is paired with an overture of destruction. It also fit my theme: the sun is of course powered by a nuclear reaction – the same nuclear reaction which powers a thermonuclear bomb. So I knew I needed to make these drawings.
Technically, I made the drawings in pencils, and although they can look photographic, I made them by hand. The black lines are added last, using indelible ink. They were originally based on vintage video games (think of vector graphics of ‘Tempest’ or ‘Battlezone’), but eventually became abstract with their own logic. I think that they speak to the idea of the irreversible intervention of technology onto nature, but I’m still figuring them out…” – Eric LoPresti
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