A’o ‘Ana (The Warning)
November 17, 2015 3:14 PM   Subscribe

"Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of Climate Change.”

"A’o ‘Ana" is a change of venue for O’ahu-born Sean Yoro, a.k.a. Hula, an artist who likes to "paint things on things". The surfing enthusiast’s large hyperrealistic murals of women partially submerged in water are made with traditional oil paint, and each image can take up to four days to complete. GrindTV has a brief interview with the artist. His website has lots more of his work.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
1) This is a pretty cool thing.

2) It does make me worry that a race of giants are thawing out in the ice and will soon eat us all, though.
posted by curious nu at 3:17 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Finally, we can focus on the true victims of climate change: L'Oreal models
posted by theodolite at 3:34 PM on November 17, 2015 [9 favorites]

It does make me worry that a race of giants are thawing out in the ice and will soon eat us all, though.

Its not the giants you need to worry about.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:45 PM on November 17, 2015

I really like his work on abandoned buildings and quarries, but the fact that the ice portraits are painted on plexiglass rather than directly onto the ice casts a chill over my enthusiasm for this project. The portraits aren't actually going to melt away with the iceberg but would just detach, float away and join some vast gyre of floating plastic somewhere.
posted by Flashman at 5:14 PM on November 17, 2015 [10 favorites]

I hate to always be that guy but this seems dodgy. None of the photos really shows anything I'd recognize as a work in progress. Unless he's some kind of savant that can just paint from one corner to the other without building up colour in layers. Why not just paint the plexiglass beforehand? It just looks like ipad or photoshop paintings printed onto plexiglass sheets, then screwed onto the ice. I mean, the more I think about it, spending a ton of money to reach some remote area, being sure there'd be windows of calm weather enough that the waves wouldn't interfere with the painting process? Would such a realistic style be the best choice in that scenario?
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes, but . . . no.
posted by yesster at 8:04 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

What Flashman said. One of the most overlooked aspects of climate change is the havoc it's wreaking on our oceans. Is this paint just going to end up ingested into the bottom of the food chain for the aquatic critters (and those who depend on them) already having a tough go of it up North?

The captions say he painted as night "so as not to be seen" -- which is reminiscent of the person who was tagging rocks in the NPS a few years ago.
posted by mostly vowels at 2:29 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm kind of tired of "awareness raising" art that is solely (or mostly) attractive ladies painted attractively. It's a startling choice if you take a step back from our male gaze-laden artistic culture, but I think people are uncomfortable bringing it up because they don't want to take the focus away from the issue.

This one is pretty blatant though.

they represent the millions of people in need of our help

Uh-huh. The millions of young, attractive, naked women.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:31 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Interesting idea, terrible and inexcusably cheesy execution. Also reminds me of what an art professor said about the problem of natural site-specific art that sometimes it's less about melding with nature and more about a giant egotistical footprint. To me, this would be the footprint. The 80s had lots of vaguely self-congratulatory, borderline exploitative 'political' art that was all about hijacking an issue to make a name for yourself and act like you're 'doing something important' and whatnot. I love the idea of impermanence being emphasized, but yeah, L'Oreal models. This just seems to add to environmental pollution, at least visually. Ends up just marring nature which can speak volumes on its own, thankyouverymuch.

You could say 'well then, why don't you just pass it by, hater?' etc, but this point needs to be made. Artists who act selfless and socially conscious are sometimes anything but. It's hard enough for good art to change the world, and crappy art ain't gonna make a dent. It becomes useless feel-goodism. Better to do real activism than pseudo-activist art. Been there, seen that in the 80s and I militantly oppose that.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2015

I will say though, that I like this post/thread. Gave me a chance to get my Art-Grar on and dust off my conceptual art history. so thanks for the rant platform!
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 1:31 PM on November 18, 2015

Anything for a fellow MeFite.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:22 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

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