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Paintings on Found Trash That Blend Into the Landscape

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 26, 2021

Mariah Reading

Mariah Reading

Mariah Reading

Eco-artist Mariah Reading finds discarded objects in National Parks, on native lands, and in other natural environments and paints impressionistic landscapes on them so they blend into the backgrounds of the places they were found. Atlas Obscura has an interview with Reading about her work.

The first piece I did that was a single object, not a bunch of [objects] stuck together. I was working at Guadalupe Mountains National Park and along its edge there was a major highway. I would walk along it and find a lot of car parts, just a lot of scrap things that fall off as the cars are whizzing past. I found half of a hubcap, and I took a closer look at it and realized it had cracked perfectly to form the silhouette of the mountain range I was standing in front of. I had a vision that I would just paint the land onto it and use the shape of the object to inform the piece. That’s when I started getting more into photography, too. Then my finished work shifted to not just being the painting, but also the painting photographed in the land where it was found.

That piece, called “El (Hub)Capitan”, is pictured at the top of this post. You can check out more of Reading’s work on her website and on Instagram. (via the morning news)