I am a painter by what you might call commitment and interest, but I got involved for many years with the problems of the environment. And this slide talk will be the relationship of the visual environment as we have it in the daily life, and the world of an artist who tried to seek out meaning and value. I will begin with some images which somehow seem to me give a key to the essential problems or difficulties of contemporary urban life.
At the very beginning I show a slide I made in Greece years ago and I'm showing it because it gives me a key to some of the qualities we sacrifice for our collective menace. It is a slide made in Patmos and I love it because it has a fabulous interfacing of all the essential environmental qualities: the open space with the sky, and in it a most convincingly simple, man-made structure of the Greek island architecture which just radiates confidence and radiates purity. But what I really like in this image is the interfacing of these two basically opposite poles of contemporary life, the man-created world and the natural world. In this slide the man-created world still has a heritage of past wisdom. There are these crisp clean radiating white little forms which have no superficial overtones. They are all made with the honesty of the heart and the quality of the eyes. They are painted white. In this way the shape and the form of this simple architecture are most legible. There is a crisp clean interface of the earth, the sky, the water and the man-created world. The next slide will be, if one can say, diametrically opposite of the previous one.
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