Alexis Rockman, born in New York (1962)
Lives and works in New York.
Alexis Rockman has depicted a darkly surreal vision of the collision between civilization and nature – often apocalyptic scenarios on a monumental scale. He portrays a fermenting world shaped by human excess and environmental corruption. He depicts the future as a saturated dystopia, in which creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and the onslaught of invasive species. In the depths of this latter-day, primordial soup, Rockman finds the survivors — feral beasts that emerge from the human era transformed and triumphant. In Rockman’s paintings, we do not see human beings. We see memories and vestiges of them in polluted canals, cascading piles of trash, crumbling monuments, and mutated animals. We see their absence, and the altered landscapes they have left behind. We search for signs of hope in the post-human world and find them in Rockman’s resilient creatures, who adapt and endure, as natural order returns to traumatized environments. Rockman draws us into this vision of the future with vibrant colors and densely packed compositions. He commands our attention with crisp details set against loose, gestural washes and hazy horizons. He blends fact and fiction, filling his dream-like landscapes with creatures, landmarks, and conflicts, both real and imagined. He invites us to experience this headrush of possibility and urges us to care for our planet before it is too late.