Climate Shift

The current portfolio includes the first paintings from the Climate Shift series, begun in October of 2018. Nature’s fierce beauty enraptures, even as these paintings contemplate the impending climate shift. If we continue to heat the seas and skies around us, we humans will push climate change past an irreversible turning point. Our current collective choices about how to manage our industrial culture will determine whether human civilization can survive. The planet would endure. The universe remains timeless, spacious and blissful. There might just be no human beings in the picture.

My painting process is an exploration of the marvelous physicality and uncertainty of beeswax — the ancient encaustic medium in which pure pigments are embedded in a blend of natural beeswax and tree resin, which is solid at room temperature but flows as paint when heated above 170 degrees. It is the perfect medium to express the climate shift.  The medium’s fluidity, impermanence and unpredictability in response to the application of heat echo the climate. The artist heats the paint with a flaming torch or heat gun to make the pigment dance into a desired image. The molten wax swirls into a new pattern, and the image is stable once cooled – but forever different from what came before melting.

Barry Margolin, February 2019