2011 – oil on canvas, 160×200 cm / 63×79 in
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe” is a famous saying by Albert Einstein.
In the Orphic cosmogony, Chronos/Time produced Aether (pure,fresh air and clean sky) and Chaos, thus giving humans a choice. In the beginning it looked promising. Aether/Oxygen had increased over two billion years from 1 to 21% of the air with an equivalent reduction in carbon dioxide, allowing the appearance of numerous new forms of life.
Since the beginning of the last century man has reversed this virtuous cycle by reinserting enormous quantities of carbon fossils into the air, raising inexorably the temperature of the planet. This has led to the sixth crisis of extinction in the history of our planet. But contrary to past crises which developed over millions of years, the current crisis is evolving within less than a century .
Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, wrote in the middle of the 19th century: “Man has now acquired such domination over the material world and such a power to increase in number, that most likely the whole surface of the globe will be invaded by this anomaly (man), until the annihilation of all other beautiful and marvelous species”.
Biodiversity is vanishing at a rate thousands of times faster than normal, with over 20,000 species lost per year with those left, desperately clinging to their habitat, like the monkeys in my painting and the Polar Bear, who sees the ice vanishing under his feet. It’s a sad moment for animal lovers like me, who are used to communicating on a daily basis with our friends.
But it might get even worse, because it is said, that once the last bee has been made extinct, it will take only four years until it’s the turn for us humans. We are at the eleventh hour and must heed the appeal of the Cloak to our Conscience and stop the dance of Chronos around the ticking clock of extinction.