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The series by June Julian, Atlantic Blues – Paintings from the Edge, celebrates the ocean in all of its power and magnificence, and it also sings the blues about our abuses of it. The paintings suggest a new aesthetic for the traditional genre of marine art, one that recognizes climate change data, pollution and ocean dumping. Maybe you can hear the crashing waves, smell the tangy brine, and taste the salty air when you look at these paintings. But, environmental impacts and insults are the contemporary realities that coexist along with its sublime beauty. Gorgeous, breathtaking clouds and waves contrast with disquieting scenarios: raging advancing tides, microplastics and data points, and an entire discarded New York City subway train, one of hundreds discarded offshore.
Blue is the color of sadness and the ocean is as salty as tears. I hope you can feel connected through the poetic and the affective aspects of these site-specific works as we walk together in awe along the water’s edge.