Adam Straus: Shared Earth

Adam Straus: This Is Not A Video, 2015 oil on paper 11 x 15 in. 28 x 38 cm.

You know those moments when you are standing in the middle of nature and you know it won’t last forever, so you take a picture knowing you are lucky to be able to see it in person just the way it is? As a landscape painter, Adam Straus has many of these moments, and he takes this feeling further in his latest paintings, using the language of social media (Share, Save, Edit, Trash…) to start a dialogue about the environment.

It is undeniable that Instagram has become the go-to platform for sharing, selling and discovering new art. And while most late adopters of Instagram have tried to adapt to it, Straus has figured out a way to adapt Instagram to his paintings.

shared air
Adam Straus: Shared Air, 2014 oil on jute adhered to canvas 90 x 60 x 2 in. 228.6 x 152.4 x 5 cm.
This is not a video
Adam Straus: This is not a Video: Winter, 2015 oil on canvas 24 x 24 in. 61 x 61 cm
colors of winter
Adam Straus: Colors of Winter, 2013-14 oil on canvas 48 x 72 x 2 in. 122 x 183 x 5 cm.
saved water
Adam Straus: Saved Water, 2015 oil on paper 30 x 22 in. 76.2 x 56 cm.
f9e4a75f0fe0fa53a84fc3d89a446b3e
Adam Straus: Edited Air 2, 2015 oil on paper 30 x 22 in. 76.2 x 56 cm.

 

It’s become so common to see images framed in this way with options to share, save, or delete, that upon first glance, nothing seems unusual about seeing this familiar imagery on canvas. However, there is something unsettling about seeing something meant for a handheld device painted on a large canvas. Almost as though the purity of the landscape painting has been corrupted in some way.

Unsettling, but successful, because by merely re-framing his paintings of nature, the viewer is forced to consider the environment in the same way they would a transient, fleeting moment on Instagram.

 

You can see more of Adam Straus’ paintings at Nohra Haime Gallery at 730 Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th street or on the gallery’s website.