Upstate New York, during the early years of American history, was marked as the frontier. Artist, always eager to explore and push boundaries, were drawn to this frontier and a school of painters called the Hudson River School of painters developed as result. The paintings of these artist explored the fantasy of untouched earth and would become closely tied in subject romantic American ideals as many of these artist saw the landscape as an allegory for society. These painter, most notably Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt, would be many of the first artist in American history to receive global recognition for their work’s artistic merit. While it is easy to relegate the landscape that was the muse of the first American romantic painters to obscurity, with political rhetoric ringing phrase like “make America great again” it is hard to make the case that this romanticized past-- this romantic memory of the American landscape constructed by the Hudson River school of painters --- is not still relevant.
The romantic landscape constructed by the Hudson River School is under no threat in the American fantasy, but being blunt, in the actual landscape painted by the Hudson River School is dead. I aspire to create work that preserves what I refer to as the ‘memory of the landscape’ but also be true to what I perceive. With the present threat of climate change, I appreciate that I can very well be one of the last individuals who can insert personal experience into the grand tradition of artmaking practices that derive meaning from the landscape and so I aspire to paint a portrait of this fracturing landscape.