Secondary Menu

Bradley Cummins

On April 20th 2010, The Deepwater Horizon off-shore platform exploded, leaving eleven men presumed dead and an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil floating in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting oil spill continued for eighty-seven days, threatening habitats, livelihoods, and the fragile coastal ecosystem, which was still in recovery from hurricane Katrina. I present, in a sequence of mixed media paintings and drawings entitled Oil in Water: a Violation, a visual description of this event, in which I respond to the Gulf oil spill through the metaphors of oil and water. Based on the size of the explosion and the scale of destruction, I use large, un-stretched canvas to convey the scope of the event. I use oil-based paint to cover a water-based primer coat, completing the Power/Water (oil/water) theme. The monolith expands upward, towering above the burning platform, representing the toxic cloud of smoke and gas blasted from the exploding well, five-thousand feet beneath the surface. In this sequence, I use abstract art forms to bridge the gap between pure non-representation and much more accessible visual motifs. I draw from the works of such artists as Cy Twombly, John McCracken, and Gerhard Richter as creative inspriation for my series. The completion of this work demonstrates, as a snap-shot in time, the terrible events of April 20th. The series provides an abstracted visual reminder of the dangers we face in our mad quest for cheaper energy, as well as the subsequent destruction caused by political negligence, environmental appropriation, and human error.

Berhtaz Viscosity

Oil on Canvas

71.75" x 53.5"


Oil on Canvas

53.5" x 71.25"

Sweet Luminous Rupture

Latex, Oil Pastel on Wood Panel

47.75" x 10.5" x 9.0"