There’s a full-on technicolor jungle at Art South Box in Fort Worth.
Dallas-based artists Mariell Guzman and Tyler Germaine have teamed up to create their first big public art project together. It’s called Synthetic Aesthetic.
Within a glass-walled shipping container, the installation is bright and leafy. The pretty aesthetic of it all has a meaningful undertone. It’s a response to environmental issues and hypocrisy.
“Humans we love nature, we travel to go see nature but we objectify it,” Germaine said. “In the sense that we love how it looks but we don’t really take care of it.”
The two artists used found and recycled objects to construct the exhibit, including discarded pieces of plastic, aluminum tubing and laundry hampers. The duo found it easy to repurpose items for art because they love thrifting.
The public space was the perfect opportunity for the duo to make a powerful statement.
“We want to make people stop and really think about how they’re using materials in their everyday life and then disposing them,” Guzman said.
Germaine used his background in photography and film to bring light and sound to the installation. There’s a 24-hour playlist that plays eerie music of man-made and natural sounds. At night, the technicolor jungle is lit up in neon colors.
“There’s a top layer of this where we want people to come see it and have fun and be excited because that’s how we see nature and that’s how it should be seen,” Germain said. “But underneath the surface is all these horrible things.”
The mini-gallery is curated by Art Tooth. Synthetic Aesthetic is also the first installation to be curated since the pandemic hit.
“I get a lot of joy making work that’s accessible to the public, so that’s something I couldn’t experience that much this year,” Guzman said. “Being able to do it again, in this very unique way, it’s the most ambitious and exciting project I’ve taken on.”
The installation is on view 24 hours a day. It ends on Nov. 25.
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