Amazon #1, this year's auction piece by Los Angeles-based artist Christine Weir, is the first in a series of drawings in which she depicts the Amazon River in its entirety.
Weir begins her process by culling images from Google Earth, selecting aerial perspectives of specific rivers, reservoirs, farming fields, and airports. She then draws the network of lines and patterns of the organic and manmade designs as viewed from space. At the heart of Weir's work is an environmental consciousness, exploring large-scale geological effects of human intervention on the landscape such as global warming, deforestation, pollution and technology, leaving what the artist describes as "visible scars."
She works exclusively in graphite, using a range of pencil leads from hard to soft, creating luscious, tactile textures and achieving a gamut of grey shades. The surface ranges from dark, velvety matte to a steely luster. If you look closely, you can see the laborious results of repetitive hand made markings and even the glowing white area is filled with tiny, faint pencil marks. The nocturnal atmosphere may reflect a toxic setting and foreboding silhouettes, yet it also radiates an alluring and meditative ambiance.
Weir received her MA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited her work throughout Southern California at St. Mary's College, Barnsdall Art Center, and Vincent Price Art Museum. Galleries that have exhibited her work are Coagula Curatorial, Richard Levy Gallery, den contemporary, and Curve Line Space. - DN