Created for the Culture Jam MKE show curated by Jeff Redmon
John D. Rockefeller was a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry, but at what cost? Becoming one of the richest men in history his Standard Oil Company gave way to Exxon Mobile. The March 24, 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in the discharge of approximately 11 million US gallons (42,000 m3) of oil into Prince William Sound, oiling 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of the remote Alaskan coastline. The Valdez spill is one of the worst oil spills in history in terms of sheer volume. The State of Alaska's Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council stated that the spill "is widely considered the number one spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment".
Throughout history Exxon has been the oil spilling most company. For this piece I started by creating my own oil spill on paper with used motor oil. Pooling water on the papers surface and drizzling oil into the pools, I then added India ink to add depth and contrast. The birds of Alaska were devastated by the Valdez spill so I added a drawing of a Herring emerging from the oil soaked page only to be entwined with a snake. From one spill to another the environment is perpetually exploited and damaged for mankind's self manifested wealth and power.
Special thanks to Deinlein's Tri-City Service for donating the motor oil used in the piece.
"Snake Oil" mixed media assemblage 30"x40"
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