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The Green Life: Artists Take Aim at BP

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July 28, 2010

Artists Take Aim at BP

The Gulf coast is reeling from a yet another oil spill and recent disasters in China and Michigan have provided further examples of the destruction wrought by oil dependence. Rather than wallow, though, some artists are expressing their frustration by creating oil-spill-inspired artworks. MutualArt recently spoke with two such artists: Heide Hatry and Jane Fulton Alt. In response to the BP oil disaster, Hatry created gruesome mixed-media sculptures of crude-covered animal corpses, while Alt (whose work is represented in the above video) photographed beachgoers covered in a dark, oil-like substance.

It seems the art world isn't satisfied to let its spill-centric work sit quietly in out-of-the-way galleries either. BP's sponsorship of the Tate Modern prompted members of the art activist group Liberate Tate to release dozens of balloons tied to dead, oil-soaked wildlife in the museum's Turbine Hall in May. Protests continued in July, when a group called Culture Beyond Oil poured oil around a sculpture at the British Museum.

The design community is taking aim at Big Oil too. LogoMyWay recently held a contest to redesign BP's familiar green-and-yellow logo. Designers responded in droves – more than 1,200 images were submitted. A similar Greenpeace-sponsored contest garnered almost 2,000 entries. With BP and the oil industry continuing to make headlines, we're betting that this creative outpouring won't be capped any time soon.

--Della Watson


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