Sunday Afternoon at the Grande Jatte is an icon of modern painting. This huge pannel, standing at about 3 metres in width and 2 metres in height was painted in 1884 by Georges Seurat using a technique called Pointillism, which consisted of grouping small coloured dots in a certain way so that its fusion in the retina would produce an understandable picture. In this way, a work of such a dimension is composed of tens of thousands of strokes, each of them, literally, a pixel. But, what can this have to do with consumerism? Chris Jordan explains.
As the American, and consumerist, he is, Chris Jordan wants to call attention to the large quantity of garbage that is produced by his fellow men. The process he found to do so is not only effective, but surprisingly beautiful. He called them, and rightly so, images of intolerable beauty.
His works of art are huge and repetitive groups of consumed objects, assembled in a way so that they create patterns and images. They are then photographed. The outcome, seen from a certain distance, can remind you of paintings sometimes; however a closer look reveals the materials they are made of. The author also discloses the amount of time it took for the objects to be consumed: in this particular case, the 106 000 bottles of soda are produced every 30 seconds in the USA alone!
More can be found here: mobiles, cigarette ends or ammunition cartridges, creating blots that vaguely resemble the Abstract Expressionism of Pollock.