Industrial Scars is an aesthetic look at some of our most egregious injuries to the natural systems that sustains Spaceship Earth.
Lesson / Koan : Referring to the surface level is beauty in reverse.
Roberta Smith (art critic for the New York Times and a lecturer on contemporary art.) writes: “The vivid color photographs of J. Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting.”
“My work is a response to my vision of society.
I see our culture as being addicted to petroleum and the unsustainable consumption of other natural resources, which seems to portend a future of scarcity. My vision is of a different possibility, arrived at through careful husbandry of resources and adjustment of our desires and consumption patterns toward a future of health and plenty. To gear our civilization toward sustainability does not necessitate sacrifice today, as many naysayers would argue, but simply adjustment. There are many societies existing at present that have a standard of living at least as high as ours while consuming and polluting a fraction of what is the norm in the United States.
As an artist with a message, one asks oneself: how do I translate my message to my medium such that it will effect the change I want?
At first, I photographed “ugly” things; which is, in essence, throwing the issue in people’s faces. Over time, I began to photograph all these things with an eye to making them both beautiful and frightening simultaneously, a seemingly irreconcilable mission, but actually quite achievable given the subject matter.
These are all photographs of things i have found in my explorations.
Other than standard photographic adjustments of contrast, they are unmodified.” – J. Henry Fair
“Abstraction of Destruction,” is J. Henry Fair’s exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery, a strange battle between medium and message, between harsh truths and trite, generic beauty.
portend |pôrˈtend|verb [ trans. ]be a sign or warning that (something, esp. something momentous or calamitous) is likely to happen.