Radio Juxtapoz ep 043: Zaria Forman on the Art of Climate Change in a Time of a Global Pandemic
We have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks talking about humanity, and in many ways it's a conversation about our relationship to the natural world around us. Climate change and the ways we traverse and use our Earth has been the most important issue our lifetimes, a real-time global event that we see in melting ice caps, rising seas, massive fires, droughts and extreme weather hitting every region of our world.
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For that reason alone, talking to an artist like NY-based Zaria Forman, whose life work is to "convey the urgency of climate change" and "recreate the wonder of the natural world" is vital. She has been on personal and scientific journeys to Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and the Maldives to observe and create artwork, and has worked closely with the likes of National Geographic and NASA as an artist-in-residence to help create a visual language for climate change. When COVID-19 took hold of the world, we wanted to talk to Forman about her lifelong relationship with painting natural landscapes. "Drawing" painstakingly with pastels over massive paper works, she focuses on the beauty as opposed to destruction, developing a relationship with the viewer that is about love and care of our resources. By appealing to our emotions through painting beautiful landscapes, Forman believes we can enact action of what is at stake for all of us.
And that is why we wanted to talk to Forman, on an April afternoon in the midst of shelter-in-place, as her own city of NY was so heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Her perspective and access to the far reaches of Earth are both wise and her temperament is positive. We talked about her career as an artist, how her mother's dedication as a nature photographer continues to drive Forman today and how her interactions with scientists and experts in the field has come to shape her understanding of climate change. Her works are stunning reminders of what we could lose in this fight, and yet she finds so much to be proud of from the even slight changes humanity as made in recent years.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 043 was recorded via Zoom from San Francisco/London/NY states, April 16, 2020. Follow Zaria Forman at @zarialynn