Created and Sold by Noel Kassewitz

Noel Kassewitz

"The Abduction of Europa, After Coypel" [Floating Painting]

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My latest body of work examines how a painter copes with a rapidly changing cultural and environmental landscape. Using experimental techniques that blur the line between painting and sculpture, passive and active object, cultural artifact and survival tool, I work to examine this moment in time through the lens of art history, rising social pressures, and commodified disaster preparedness.

My process is intentionally low-tech and jury-rigged, indicative of how the majority of the world will haphazardly be forced to adapt. In weaving, sewing, painting, dying, and salvaging materials, the studio becomes part wistful shrine, part research and development lab for continuous adaptations and augmentations needed for painting to survive.

About two years ago, I started exploring various ways to make paintings climate change ready, particularly in regards to rising sea levels. I have spent time extensively researching materials and consulted with an expert art conservator. I learned to weave my own canvas and embed buoys and other found flotation devices into the fabric of my paintings, as exemplified in the series "They say hope floats, but I'd rather be sure." I have tried approaches as simple and playful as wrapping existing paintings in common pool noodles and as complex as creating new waterproof paintings using synthetic sailcloth & marine foam, as in “Rococo Remastered: Sunset on the Empire.”

The Rococo Remastered series is a body of floating works that draws its aesthetics from the Rococo, a time in history I am fascinated by. Frivolous, tongue-in-cheek, and hosting an abundance of pastel tones they nod towards to the absurdities of our contemporary late capitalist culture, while simultaneously being disaster-ready through their buoyant capabilities.

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Noel Kassewitz

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How does an artist prepare for climate change?

My latest body of work examines how a painter copes with a rapidly changing cultural and environmental landscape. Using experimental techniques that blur the line between painting and sculpture, passive and active object, cultural artifact and survival tool, I work to examine this moment in time through the lens of art history, rising social pressures, and commodified disaster preparedness.

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