WEFOUNDAlexis Rockman


Rockman is perhaps best known for his monumentally scaled, multi-layered paintings—rich depictions of landscapes that might exist in a future impacted by climate change and the influence of genetic engineering on evolution. These interests and his extensive travel experiences become the inspiration for his field drawings, which the artist likens to calligraphy, pictograms, or fossils.

Rockman is perhaps best known for his monumentally scaled, multi-layered paintings—rich depictions of landscapes that might exist in a future impacted by climate change and the influence of genetic engineering on evolution. These interests and his extensive travel experiences become the inspiration for his field drawings, which the artist likens to calligraphy, pictograms, or fossils.

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It seems to be a case of art imitating art. Just three years ago filmmaker Ang Lee commissioned Alexis Rockman to conceptualize the visuals for the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi , and now the resulting work is hanging in one of the artist’s two shows, currently drawing in-the-know crowds in Soho.

Indeed, in both Alexis Rockman: Drawings from Life of Pi at the Drawing Center (through November 3) and Alexis Rockman: Rubicon at Sperone Westwater Gallery (through November 2), the artist explores the themes of nature and civilization. “I have always responded to the immersive sensations of panoramas, cycloramas and dioramas,” Rockman tells DuJour . “As a New York City kid who grew up near Central Park, I was exposed to nature primarily in the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo.” It’s no wonder he was tapped for Life of Pi .

“I met Ang through Jean Castelli, a producer on the project,” Rockman explains. “He suggested me as an artist who might help visualize specific parts of the script. [Lee] was interested in fantastic imagery that was believable, yet never been seen before.”

Rockman is perhaps best known for his monumentally scaled, multi-layered paintings—rich depictions of landscapes that might exist in a future impacted by climate change and the influence of genetic engineering on evolution. These interests and his extensive travel experiences become the inspiration for his field drawings, which the artist likens to calligraphy, pictograms, or fossils.

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It seems to be a case of art imitating art. Just three years ago filmmaker Ang Lee commissioned Alexis Rockman to conceptualize the visuals for the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi , and now the resulting work is hanging in one of the artist’s two shows, currently drawing in-the-know crowds in Soho.

Indeed, in both Alexis Rockman: Drawings from Life of Pi at the Drawing Center (through November 3) and Alexis Rockman: Rubicon at Sperone Westwater Gallery (through November 2), the artist explores the themes of nature and civilization. “I have always responded to the immersive sensations of panoramas, cycloramas and dioramas,” Rockman tells DuJour . “As a New York City kid who grew up near Central Park, I was exposed to nature primarily in the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo.” It’s no wonder he was tapped for Life of Pi .

“I met Ang through Jean Castelli, a producer on the project,” Rockman explains. “He suggested me as an artist who might help visualize specific parts of the script. [Lee] was interested in fantastic imagery that was believable, yet never been seen before.”

A strangely insistent memory came back to me during this exploration, a memory that seems to have been awakened by your work and whose connection with it I should try to understand. Some years ago I saw a series of photographs by Nancy Wilson-Pajic, from her Still Life  series. At the time I did not know that the English phrase meant “nature morte” (dead nature) in my language. And in my ignorance I translated it by turning the adjective into an adverb—Still Life: “There is still life.” Thanks to this happy mistake, each photo acquired an imaginary power: still life, there is still life.

I could, of course, respond to the urge to interpret the reason for evoking this memory, but it would betray, I fear, the very enigma of this association. All I can say, without betraying it, is that a semantic compound had the power to make meaning go off in two directions. And it is probably no coincidence that this meditation on the theme of an unexpected bifurcation came back to me while I was in my large, sunny room, full of images and words that reminded me of you.

Dead-nature-there-is-still-life. All I can say at this point is that the presence of death has awakened the imaginary powers of life.

Rockman is perhaps best known for his monumentally scaled, multi-layered paintings—rich depictions of landscapes that might exist in a future impacted by climate change and the influence of genetic engineering on evolution. These interests and his extensive travel experiences become the inspiration for his field drawings, which the artist likens to calligraphy, pictograms, or fossils.

Prevent access to children:
Cyber Patrol       CYBERsitter       Safesurf


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