Not a usual thing to see paintings with an expiration date; rather a short one. Most artists –if got the chance- would make their paintings immortal, unlike artist Sean Yuro known as Hula. He creates outdoor paintings which makes a statement for a short time then fades away by the work of nature.
One of his recent work is A’o ‘Ana (the Warning), located on the frozen north are his murals. Painting of woman’s profile on a floating ice burg, this woman -his anonymous friend form New York- looks totally submerged into water with only her face showing slightly above the waters’ surface.
Using the ice burg as his canvas and the dark sea as his background, he creates a nearby mural from the woman’s face; a hand reaching out. His aim was to bring awareness to the climate change and the increasingly melting ice, he creates a metaphor that shows how humans are affected by climate change.
‘I do think we headed in the right direction with these actions we are taking to flight global warming, but we are later in responding and need to quicken the pace of action if we want to keep this world safe for our future generations,’ said Hula. He doesn’t simply wish to forewarn of impending disaster, but rather shed light on the fact that people are already being affected by climate change.
Though the tough journey through its different stages; from his search for the right ice burg to paint on, to his paddle-board trip, facing strong currents while he draws on the melting ice burg, the artist finds it interesting that his portraits has an expiry date same as the ice burg it’s on. ‘Oil paint outdoors definitely isn’t the best and it doesn’t last nearly as long as acrylics, but I kinda like that my figures have their own lifespan’ says Hula.
‘One of the exciting things about painting portraits is being able to bring life and emotion to objects and surfaces that were once without. All these figures seem to match with the moods, a mysterious surreal combination’, he said.
Seeing an artist creating temporary paintings on harsh environmental conditions, knowing that those will come to an inevitable end soon; you can’t help but admire this virtuoso soul. A metaphor that shows the similarity between the melting ice and the melting murals of people vanishing into the sea much, a harsh fact but a good point made by those murals.
By Yosra Abdel-Rahman