Oil on Board,
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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
About "Contemplation 4"
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 323 works by Gary Frier
"I believe that making art is a compulsive act of self expression that can only be realized through the collaborative act of creating and experiencing. Creating art for me is about constantly reflecting on my place in the reality. Using art to express a emotional and intellectual and tactile value, discovering how to distill and interpret my interaction with what surrounds me and documenting that personal relationship.
His work is in many private collections in Africa, Europe, America and the U.K. and Asia
Public Collections: Peuple et Culture - Brest (France), Western Cape Department of Economic development South Africa.
Corporate and government/public collections:
Oliewenhuis Art Museum BP South Africa (Cape Town)
Joop van den Ende Theater productions - Holland, Embassy of USA, Nairobi
Old mutual private investment
PricewaterhouseCoopers Cape Town
PPS Investments - Claremont
Benguela Cove Lagoon Coastal Wine Estate.
As well as private collections worldwide.
Zonnebloem Art centre,Cape Peninsula University of Technology
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