Statement | Steven Siegel | About
The environmental artworks of the past 40 years have been influenced by my interest in Earth sciences, notably geology, as well as a curiosity of Life sciences, particularly evolutionary biology. Often composed of disparate elements brought together into a unified whole, these mixed-media sculptures reflect the shapes that can be encountered in nature. Likewise, the process impersonates nature’s methodology, particularly how the accumulation of single elements creates sculptural forms through a repetitive and meticulous activity. When installed in the landscape, these works produce a symbiotic relationship with the environment.
Installed across Europe, North America, and Asia, the large-scale works inspire conversation about landscape and society. In an outdoor setting, a museum, commercial gallery or University gallery context, these artworks contribute to the discussions of art for the Anthropocene era. Frequently constructed with the help of students or volunteers and with the prevalent resources of a particular place, each work is built on the basis of collaboration and sustainable opportunities.
Using pre-consumer and recycled materials such as discarded newspapers plastic containers, and shredded tires, these public art commissions and site-specific installations placed in natural and urban contexts reinvent the role of sculpture for an eco-conscious planet. For instance, the large boulders made of compressed aluminum cans or multi-layered newsprint ridges awaken awareness of the scale of consumer waste. While they draw connections between consumption, waste, and nature, their intricate, detailed and articulated compositions testify to the centrality of aesthetics in this art.
The collages and films that have been produced since 2013 offer an innovative way to experience large studio work. Combining object making, photography, and computer manipulation, they allow for both a close and large perspective, which adds to the narrative. Through a multitude of grid-like screens they comment on the way we see the world, each offering only partial information, and reflect our inability as humans to ever perceive the whole picture all at once.