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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Epic Landscapes Inside Aquariums

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Environment, art, landscape, photography, wilderness, Kim Keever, Earth Island Journal, Keith Goetzman,

West 91r by Kim Keever

The landscape photographs of New York artist Kim Keever project a grandiose, almost bombastic natural drama: majestic snowcapped mountains, towering trees, and spectacular waterfalls, with landforms and flora shrouded in glistening mist or bathed in sunset hues. But Keever doesn’t travel any further than his studio to make his art: His sweeping scenes are constructed inside 200-gallon fish tanks filled with water.

Compare West 91r, above, to the studio setup of the same scene below.

Kim Keever's studio

Earth Island Journal, which presents a sampling of Keever’s work in its spring issue, makes a compelling environmental case for Keever’s open artifice, casting his art of illusion as an heir to the epic landscape paintings of yesteryear:

A simulacrum rarely has the force of the original. But it may also be the perfect statement for an Avatar age in which the most invigorating “nature” experience many people have occurs in the luminescent forest of a multiplex fantasy world. Through a restoration of wonder, Keever makes us hunger for breathtaking vistas.

Source: Earth Island Journal

Images courtesy of Kinz + Tillou Fine Art. Top: West 91r, 2008. Bottom: Artist’s studio, 2008.