Expedición Extinción: Everything will fade

Expedición Extinción is a series of paintings by Colombian artist Edwin Monsalve. There are many reasons why this series jumped out at me.. my odd nostalgia for biology texts from college, traipsing through the Michigan woods growing up, collecting edible plants with my father or simply that they remind me of something I’d see in a 1940′s National Geographic. All these reasons are why I liked looking at them, on the surface. The concept behind them is why I’m sharing them with you…

These are all painted with chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants and algae. The function of chlorophyll, in a live plant, is to absorb light and transfer the energy within it to help facilitate photosynthesis. The beauty of using this as pigment for a painting is that it fades over time, around 15 years by Monslave’s estimate, making the painting as alive as the living plant it portrays was and just as temporal. The idea is simply brilliant and I can only imagine how these must look in person. At first glowing with vibrant color then, as years pass, a faded remnant of what it once was, such is life. I would love to have one of these to watch it unfold. I bet the stain left behind would be just as intriguing as the day it was framed.


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Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010