I recently came across the work of Don Simon, a colored pencil artist with a surreal style. I am not sure why it took me so long to stumble on his work, considering he has been featured in New American Paintings (one of my favorite publications) twice! His work speaks about the conflict between nature and industry, which is of course, is a pertinent topic these days. Simon's bold color choices pair nicely with this conflict, as a contradiction to the grim undertones of his work.
Here's what Don has to say about his work...
"Throughout history, particularly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mankind has been less than kind to their cohabitants on the planet. We build, produce and consume with little or no regard to the impact it has on the environment. It is the nature of nature to adapt and evolve in order to survive, and we are forcing other species to deal with compromised, damaged or destroyed ecosystems.
This series of triptychs depicts scenes resulting from our tragic indifference. They are rendered in a beautiful and natural way, highlighting the idea that we find this acceptable. We are numb to the damage - and so, the unnatural becomes natural to us. This may be the saddest commentary of all."
These images are striking and powerful in their imagery and concept. And honestly, I have not stopped thinking about them for the last couple of days. Simon has a great website where you can view more work from his Unnaturalism series (I and II), shop online, and learn more about his work. To visit his site, click here.