San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), 1987, BFA
Microscopic or Macroscopic Landscape abstract painting, Modern painting modern abstract, figurative, conceptual
About my art.
I am influenced by science and how things really work, I am highly interested in the rapidity of scientific discovery these days. My aim with my painting is to depict things that happen, such as disaster out of the context of the human experience, such as anxiety.
I for example lived in New Orleans during Katrina, and the interesting thing is that I left before she hit and spent a month watching CNN on the ongoing development of the daily life there. I thought it was terrible what these people were going through but I had no idea how massively the magnitude of destruction would hit me when I came there. I realized that I had no idea what the people that stayed really experienced because I wasn't there, when Katrina hit the city.
But my experience of the aftermath was highly traumatic as it was for almost all the population there. So I started to think if the human factor is taken out of the context what is a hurricane? I made an abstract painting of a hurricane called "Beautiful Katrina". I realized how little control we have and how myopic and delusioned we humans are about how much control we have and we think we can fix nature when in fact the only thing that can fix nature is nature itself. So when nature wants to reclaim the Gulf Coast we rebuild again.
It's a known fact that the work such as the flood gates and channels that have been build to prevent floods from the Mississippi river has ruined the swamps south of New Orleans that before, worked as barriers to hurricanes. So human marvels made to prevent something bad happening have made matters worse in the long run. I also realized that everything is a subject to destruction and becoming garbage. That became a fate of few of my paintings when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I really don't have any idea how many there are that got destroyed but I know of some of them.
Also I think about Fats Domino (a popular musician from the 50' and 60'), who never moved away from his neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward in spite of his fame and riches, and all his award and life accomplishments were destroyed, thankfully for him, he's a musician and his music lives on, but all his memorabilia was destroyed as well as his home and recording studio. I also think about priceless works, like Mona Lisa, even she is vulnerable to destruction. We just don't know when.
There is one fact about us humans, that we build societies to protect us from nature. Nature is brutal if you have to live in it. We are very good at this and as cities become bigger the more engineering we need to keep them working. We look for things in nature to make artificial gadgets and constructions to maintain this lifestyle. In the process we keep destroying nature. I feel that we humans over estimate ourselves and that we are just as important form a cosmic point of view as single cell, a tree or maybe Bambi. I therefore like to look at things form cosmic point of view ( this has nothing to do with new age way of thinking but pure science).
My paintings can depict either something microscopic or macroscopic in the cosmos. I think of them as a flicker of a moment in an event. I'm also a firm believer that things don't happen for a reason, they just happen. I think it's inherent in the human mind to make sens of events, especially if they are bad. But I simply believe there is no explanation, thing just happen, and they happen randomly or frequently. We humans see nature as destructive, that is if we happen to be where nature is not agreeable to us.
We here in Los Angeles live on a earth quake fault line and we know sooner or later the quake is going to hit, but when it does, we still try to make sense of why it happened, why so and so died and why it hit some parts more that others. We are prone to think that nature is more volatile than before (we rarely hear of disasters where people don't live) but the fact is that we virtually live everywhere now, since there are so many of us.
Another thing that perplexes me is our compulsion to destruct our selves and other human beings. Like the painting "Fire 2012 is painted for all people that have lived and died under fire in the Middle East in the past decade. But it depicts an abstract cosmic event of a fire. Presidents and Kings, congress and parliments and the military may think they are in control, but the fact is, noone is in control. The particulr event happening these days in the Middle East is a geopolitical war that is apparent to all of us, out of control.
I say this as a supporter of no one and neither as an opposition to anyone. My aim is not to be politcal. It's just happening and non of us have any control. So some of my work is about that. But again I take the myopic and often delusion of gradeur human factor out of it, as I see all of us being victims in that regard whether we are the destroyer or the one being destroyed, becuause in the process of destroying something or someone else we destroy ourselves.
The line between creation and desruction is very thin. For example for me to make a frame for my painting, a tree has to be cut, made into wood of a certain size to build the frame. So in that regard a destuction has to happen in order for a creaton to take place.
Exhibited at these venues
Ella Ferro has Exhibited at these venues: