Art world is not very supportive of environmental art / by Ekaterina Smirnova

Every year in December I traditionally go to Miami to visit art fairs organized during the art Basel time. Hundreds of galleries present thousands of artists from around the world then. This is one of the major art events in the US. 

Every year I do my research and this year I had a goal. My job was to find artists whose work has an environmental theme, and galleries who support those artists. I dedicated a whole day to visit 3 fairs: Art Miami, Art Context and Untitled only to realize that my mission was close to impossible, and I would like to present this conclusion to your alarming attention. There were only a hand-full of artists who actually did something meaningful and wanted to address the issue. I would like to celebrate them in this post. 

My sincere congratulations to:

Joseph Guay. Joseph presented works titled "Nature's Hope in the Destruction of Ourselves".  The media he used was motor oil, high-rise buildings glass, stain, water, canvas. In his art statement he says: "When someone approaches my art created from bullets, gunpowder, motor oil, shattered high-rise glass, byproducts of weapons, terrorism and destruction.... they are intrigued and open-minded… not consumed with fear. So how can we reprogram ourselves to not react to the world out of fear? Can we not approach the issues I am presenting in my art with the same eyes of understanding and humanity? I do not have all the answers… but I do hope that we as a society will begin to introduce different solutions."
Presented by Westside Cultural Arts Center at Context Art Miami.

Analia Saban.
Analia uses innovative media of Mixografia to create a series of works called “Paper or Plastic?” which "breathes new life into plastic grocery bags while highlighting their vapidity as an aging commercial technology."
Presented by Mixografia studio.

Sui Park. Her organic-like sculptures are inspired by nature and made out of mass produced plastic materials like cable tires and fishing lines. 
Presented by Denise Bibro Fine Art, Inc.  at Context Art Miami.


Ferran Garcia Sevilla, a photographer who explores nature, its cycles and environment.
Presented by Rocio Santa Cruz gallery at Untitled art Fair.

Jamison Carter.
I know Jamison because he also found inspiration for his work in the comet 67P. "The core of his work deals with material investigation and highlighting the extended points of tension between formal elements and their conceptual/ intellectual/ visceral counterparts." Human space junk, can it eventually become a part of a distant space object? During the Untitled art fair he presented works called "O Superman" which explore a link between life and death. 
Presented by Klowden Mann gallery at Untitled art fair.

Nadja Verena Marcin, visual artist, who curated a show called Floodline. "Nautical endlessness meets our civilization and vice versa. The threshold between the water and the earth is the meeting point of the untamed sea and civilization, the place where a periphery of possibilities unfold... The works of Duke Riley, Max Razdow, and Christoph Draeger spring from the raw energy of the spirits that derive from the water and its periphery. Press release.
KUNSTRAUM LLC at the Untitled art fair.

Rachel Her work is made of plastic or glass that was collected and melted to be shaped into colorful sculptures that "indict our consumer culture and force us to consider our role in its unsustainability". Thanks to ZieherSmith Gallery, who supports this wonderful artist for many years.


The best show in my opinion belongs to William Lamson at his solo display called All that is solid melts into air. He created site-specific works highlighting the coastal geography for the Untitled art fair's location. Since this fair traditionally is arranged on the beach, William created artworks made of salt and sand to elevate the essence of the environment around us. Stunning forms of crystalized salt were lit up to highlight the unique textures. Sand was shaped into intricate forms that simulated sand shapes found in nature. William's installation "functioned as an active experiment, a site of material transformation as salt water collected from the ocean continues to crystallize onto glass vessels and panels."