Stinson, I-80 Energy Romance, 15.13
Don Stinson (b. 1956). I-80 Energy Romance, 2013. Oil on linen, 28 x 64 inches. Gift of The Alexander Bodini Foundation, in memory of Alexander Bodini. 15.13
On the outset, this painting might remind you of an historical landscape painting a la Thomas Moran. Don Stinson uses a traditional style, technique, and format. It’s a convincingly realistic depiction of a western landscape and it’s a wide panorama with a long, low horizon line. It’s a carefully-crafted oil-on-canvas painting with a palpable sense of depth and atmosphere.
But, Stinson’s subject is distinctly contemporary – it pictures a common scene along many western highways: a disused gas sign peeling and faded from western winds and sun. In the background is a wind farm, also ubiquitous along our roads. I-80 Energy Romance addresses western states’ interest in and reliance upon natural resources for energy production – from fossil fuels to wind. The landscape speaks to our ability as humans to shape the environment around us to suit our needs and desires, and it celebrates the enduring power of nature, over time, to reclaim the spaces human hands have manipulated.