Having grown up in a landlocked state, one of my favorite things about living in Baltimore for college and now an hour away from the Oregon Coast is the presence of the often odd, humorous, and somehow out-of-place depictions of marine life. I always smile and then find myself thinking a lot about them when I see the huge, faded murals of giant sea creatures in the coastal towns I regularly visit. The animals pictured appear both gentle and ominous, watchful, even though they in a way blend in. I was instantly captivated by Matthew Moore’s series Seascapes when my friend Julia Schlosser introduced me to Moore’s work (I also quite love two of his other projects, If Animals Could Talk and Exodus). The photographs, with their starkness and lack of people, go beyond documenting the mural paintings of a particular artist. They represent some of our strange attempts to bring the natural world into our urban spaces, and whether or not that effort is lasting.
From the artist’s statement: The images in this series, entitled “Seascapes,” depict the marine life murals of the artist Robert Wyland. The murals, mostly from the 1980s and 90s, can be found in almost every major US city. They portray whales breaching the water on skyscrapers or peacefully looking over vast expanses of parked cars. Today, in a world saturated by images, they blend into the urban environment like fading monuments to a lost era, and many are being erased from the landscape altogether. To me, they represent a time when, as a society, we resisted the transition to a de-natured life by awkwardly altering our urban environment. By documenting these disappearing scenes, the photographs in this series reveal a vanishing desire to commune with the natural world.
Visit artist's site: moorephotographs.com