“I like to think of a ‘path’ as a middle ground which exists somewhere between pristine wilderness and an artificial environment: it is not quite an urbanized road, but is often the result of some human intervention within the landscape,” says Brooklyn-based artist James Warren. For example, the United States’ National Park System focuses on preserving and conserving a diverse range of landscapes and wildlife, yet they are visited by millions of people each year and are paved through and heavily waymarked.

I am drawn to subjects which examine ideas of ‘wilderness’ as they exist in our modern understanding of nature. Human interventions within the landscape, such as artificial-tree cellphone towers, speak to our aesthetic desire to hide the human and preserve the ‘natural’ in our construction of the landscape.

Where this human or cultural impact meets the purely natural is the space—the binary—that Warren centers in his work. Combining personal photos and digital 3D models with imagery from public online media archives, he portrays the nuances of human intervention in the landscape. The reference imagery is manipulated digitally before being translated onto a painted surface, evoking tools like Photoshop, where at its simplest, a line with two anchor points at each end is called a path.

Find more on the artist’s website and Instagram.


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