Marek Ranis's new series of paintings,
Sea Scapes, is a visual interpretation of his observations, travels and research in the Arctic. He shares with us his impressions of the polar landscape, driven by his desire to capture the essence of forms, colors and textures of places and phenomena which are vanishing at the great speed at this very moment. These abstracted "Sea Scapes" of the North aspire to represent The Disappearing, The Remote and The Foreign (for most) but ultimately things that are very much connected to our world down here. As we are already in post-climate change, representation of the North as we have known it, might soon become an equivalent of depictions of a Dodo bird; at some point, a mere aesthetical exercise, whose validity will be questioned by future generations.
Marek's artistic interests have been focused on the Arctic for the last fifteen years. From the initial painting series based on the satellite imagery and inspired by the climate change, through the years of travels and artistic research in Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, and Norway, his work and understanding of High North has expanded and deepened.
Through film, installation, sculpture, photography, paintings, and social practice projects he has been exploring a dramatically changing polar environment, climate migration and the experiences of Arctic Indigenous communities, as well as growing cultural diversity in the Northern regions. Marek's subjects: current rapid environmental, social and economic, and political changes in the North could be premonitions of the future to come for the rest of the world.
His work was recently recognized by United States State Department, his essay about his Arctic experience was included in the book publication Our Arctic Nation as a voice representing North Carolina. Marek continues his work in Alaska and Arctic Norway as an artist and a researcher and recently was named a Curator at Large at the Anchorage Museum, Alaska. His recent film Like Shishmaref about coastal erosion and climate change in Northern Alaska and North Carolina Outer Banks is currently presented at the Mint Museum Uptown.