Essay on John Davis Art

1002 Words Jul 12th, 2012 4 Pages
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Essay Sample
Background John Davis (16 September, 1936 – 17 October, 1999) was an Australian sculptor, renowned and celebrated as the pioneer of Environmental art, and as an Australian player in the modern art movement: Arte Povera. Arte Povera was an Italian artistic movement introduced in the 1960’s, a time of civil unrest, in which artists took to political radicalism, attacking the morale and value of the government and major industries, challenging whether art, as an expression of emotion and thought,

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From afar, the sculpture looks fine, however when you look closer, you can see that it is not, it is distorted and mutated. A throw at human nature. Davis is basically saying that we need to look more closely at everything, and not be so careless. The dominant colour is black, a colour of death and danger.

Conceptual Practice

During 1989, when this sculptor was made, an oil tanker called the Exxon Valdez, spilled approximately 23 million gallons of oil into the Prince William Sound, devastating the local ecosystem, which included salmon, seal, seabirds and otters. This was followed by a series of protests against sea drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Davis’ work was probably inspired by this, and combining his radical stances from Arte Povera and his skills from Environmental Art, he created his Spotted Fish. The bituminous paint, which covers the fish, is very oil like, thick and heavy, and dark in colour and made from petroleum. It represents the oil that devastated the region. The twigs, which form a sort of cage on the inside of the fish show that it is hurt, and trapped, and shows the destruction that humans inflict on our surrounding environment.

However, the fact that the
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