Chris Jordan’s Art Is Really Good

Photo Copyright Chris Jordan.

Given that last week in the USA was “National Bike to Work Week”, and given that I basically did the opposite of biking to work by flying massive jets all over the world, I feel more than compelled to steer our attention to the environment for a moment. Enter: Chris Jordan. I don’t know this man, but I need to meet him in the next 5 minutes. Chris Jordan makes great art. Some of it is environmental in nature, other parts seem to address mass culture and consumerism in general. From his artist statement:

Exploring around our country’s shipping ports and industrial yards, where the accumulated detritus of our consumption is exposed to view like eroded layers in the Grand Canyon, I find evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress. I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.

The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits…

More work, links to Chris’ most recent projects and other things that get me really excited about his work, after the jump. Click the ‘continue reading’ link below…
This is powerful stuff, but I can’t do it justice here on this blog. It’s best represented by this link to his site. Please visit it now, and scroll all the way down. You’ll be VERY impressed. Evokes plenty of Gursky thoughts in me as well…and I love Gursky.

Pulled back shot… Copyright Chris Jordan.

Detail of same shot… Copyright Chris Jordan.

And I guess Chris has been getting lots of press, but I somehow missed it. I got this tip from my awesome pals at the Build Blog.

12 Responses to Chris Jordan’s Art Is Really Good

  1. GeoWulf May 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    All those cell phone antennas could be reused to extend the range of my ‘poverty wizards’.

  2. jasonosaj May 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    Wow! Thanks for turning me on to this guy. He must be on a rocketship to stardom.

    By the way, thanks for running the most well rounded photo blog out there. One day we are in fine art land, the other day were in experimental photography, the next day we’re in gadjet land. I flipin love it.

  3. JB May 19, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    Great work, thanks for pointing me there.

  4. Dave May 20, 2008 at 7:29 am #

    Hey Chase,
    Another great post.
    I first saw Chris Jordan’s work about 6 months ago in a magazine. I always thought it would be really cool to see those large prints in person.
    I have an art question for you. I really enjoy the visual impact of Chris’s work but I’m not sure if I subscribe to his world view or the intent behind the photographs. Do you think it’s possible to fully appreciate a piece of art work while dismissing the intent behind it? In other words if I say “I love Chris Jordan’s work”. By default am I saying I believe his photographs are evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress?

  5. Richard Cave May 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    I love the cell phone shot, Chris comments about the consumerist nature of our world struck true. With rising costs the thrift culture will kick in soon. Then we will truly value the cost of lives affecting others.

    When I fly throughout the world it is amazing within five minutes of landing you are hit with recognisable advertising icon. Chase you must have noticed this as well.

    I like the picture of the skull, must have been massive when viewed properly.

    Dave posted a question about wether because he likes Chris work he is stating by default about his photographs are evidence of a slow motion apocalypse in progress.

    Because you like a band it does not mean you subscribe to there politics.

    Interesting post Chase, thanks for sharing


  6. Chase Jarvis May 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm #

    @ dave: Interesting question you pose. Ultimately, I’d agree with Richard… you can love the mode (execution, concept, method, etc), and still be free not to embrace message.

  7. paustin May 21, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    Incredible images. Thanks for posting this link.

    I think it’s almost the norm that I (and presumably most people) appreciate art on a different level than the artist does. Good art is all about symbols, and symbols invite the viewers to interpret things in their own ways.

    Art gets boring when it gets too obvious and literal.

  8. Anonymous May 22, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    we need more awareness work like this in the world.

  9. sarah rhoads May 22, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    this stuff is great. thanks for the link.

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