No longer content to simply paint kitschy nature porn, Canadian artist Robert Bateman is tackling performance art. In a two-minute video for environmental group No Tankers, Bateman paints a black wash over Orca Procession to demonstrate the detrimental effect of oil spills.
But Bateman was not defacing the original, he was defacing a reference copy valued at around $1,950. The Star reports: “Bateman afterward rushed into the shower with the print to wash the paint off so as not to compromise the print.”
In her notorious attack on the McMichael Gallery’s Bateman retrospective last fall, Globe art critic Sarah Milroy wrote that “increasingly, Bateman has a heavy hand when it comes to Meaning of Life metaphors, and his technique seems workmanlike, with paint laid on in dull, uniform strokes whether the subject is rock, fur, water, or cloud.” Or environmental disasters, it seems.
Still, you can’t criticize the guy for wanting to save the whales.