The Wild Imagination of Josh Keyes

This year, I’ve started paying greater attention to some of the environmental issues that are taking place around us and they’ve inspired me to take a bigger role in the whole [go green] movement. So far, I like the part that I’m playing. I have about 25 empty water bottles sitting in my recycle bin right now and there are stacks of papers laying beneath those. It’s pretty simple, but it helps make a big difference. The other day I stumbled across a pretty cool artist that has found his own way to bring awareness to this global issue. Josh Keyes is a contemporary artist whose artwork says tons about the state of our society and mankind’s impact on the environment without using one human example.

His paintings feature several species of the animal kingdom thrown into a cluttered environment that have been molded by mankind and show a unique idea of what things could look like after we’re gone. His work has been considered a blend of “eco-surrealism and dystopian folktales,” but regardless of the clever word choice, you can describe it simply as attention-grabbing. Keyes expresses his concern for the future of our planet by using animals to describe the state of the human condition. It’s not a secret that we’re the cause of a lot of the environmental problems that we face today and these paintings show that in an interesting, yet indirect way.

Even if you’re not in the least bit interested in the latent messages that Keyes is trying to communicate, his visible work is more than captivating enough. He freezes time, takes a geometric slice of the world (as he sees it), and throws it into another dimension for us to examine from different angles. Apparently his Masters in Fine Arts from Yale and those 9-hour workdays are paying off. The way that he blends elements from so many separate worlds and connects them into one space in time is awesome. I doubt that we’ll ever see anything similar to these images in real life (and I hope that we don’t), but it takes the spectator on an amazing trip through Keyes’ imagination. Check out more of his work below.

*click on any images for a larger view*

I try to create work that fuses my personal mythology and imagery with these concerns. The result is a continuous and evolving pattern of fragmented imagery that slowly unfolds and folds like a patchwork quilt. The work functions for me as a record of both my personal history and interpretation of events in the world.

CheckĀ out more work from [Josh Keyes] here.