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oil on board
W: 200mm x H: 210mm x D: 22mm
W: 8" x H: 8" x D: 1"
Approx. Weight: 1kg
This work is
One million years ago the earth was characterized by a pervasive wilderness which we may call "nature". In the midst of this
wild nature stood small enclaves of human habitation.Whether caves with artificial fire to keep men warm, or later cities with
dwellings and artificial fields of cultivation, these enclaves were distinctly unnatural. In the succeeding millennia, the area of
untouched nature surrounding artificial human enclaves progressively declined, although for centuries the trend remained invisible.
Even 300 years ago in France or England, the great cities of man were isolated by hectares of wilderness in which untamed
beasts roamed, as they had for thousands of years before. And yet the expansion of man continued inexorably.One hundred years
ago, in the last days of the great European explorers, nature had so radically diminished that it was a novelty: it is for this reason
that African explorations captured the imagination of nineteenth-century man. To enter a truly natural world was exotic, beyond the
experience of most mankind, who lived from birth to death in entirely man-made circumstances.
In the twentieth century the balance has shifted so far that for all practical purposes one may say that nature has disappeared.
Wild plants are preserved in hothouses, wild animals in zoos and game parks: artificial settings created by man as a souvenir of
the once-prevalent natural world. But an animal in a zoo or a game park does not live its natural life, any more than a man in a
city lives a natural life.
Today we are surrounded by man and his creations. Man is inescapable, everywhere on the globe, and nature is a fantasy,
a dream of the past, long gone."
Maurice Cavalle - French anthropologist
(from the paper entitled "The Death of Nature" published in 1955).
The quote above is relevant today more so than ever before! For this reason the animals I paint are almost exclusively drawn
directly from wildlife photography. Like many South Africans I have personally not experienced wildlife in “natural environments”
and because of the popularity of eco-tourism African wildlife has become an exclusive recreational experience. The world we
inhabit has become more manipulated and market orientated and to me it seems that natural environments have become more
of an exception than a rule. For this reason I have chosen to separate the subjects in some way from their natural environment
making them more of a decorative element than a true representation of natural law. In some works the boldness of the stylization
makes the animal almost an icon inhabiting a new urban environment.
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View all 244 works by Gary Frier
Gary is an Artist with SouthAfricanArtists.com based in South Africa.
Gary finds inspiration in many forms of media. Creating art for him is about constantly reflecting on his place in the world, discovering how to distill and interpret this interaction with what surrounds him and documenting that personal relationship.
Recently he has participated in an exhibition at the Alliance franciase du Cap entiteled Similiar similarities and strange attractors the Picasso in Africa exhibition and the KKNK festival in Oudtshoorn Branding me. In 2004 the Wasanni international artists workshop in Lamu-Kenya and his body of work encompasses figurative abstract and expressionistic styles. He accepts commissions as well.
Greatmore Studios, Idasa and Durbanville Cultural Society, Battswood Art Centre, Le Bon Ton, Caledon Museum, Fordsburg Art Studios (Bag factory) as well as Alliance Francaise de Mitchell's Plain. Gary's work forms part of the collections of BP regional office People et Culture organization of Brest France, the Fortis Circustheatre -Scheveningen as well as the Embassy of USA, Nairobi
Zonnebloem Art centre,Cape Peninsula University of Technology
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