Lee Lee
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The Environmental Unsustainability of the
American Food Machine

C Emerson Fine Arts, St Petersburg FL

Exhibition Overview

Interview with Andrew Silvertein,
University of South Florida

Bitter but beautiful Harvest
Lee Lee's stark style captures anger and elegance among environmental degradation.
by Lennie Bennett, St Petersburg Times

Art & Agriculture
Columbia Arts Center
May 2010

right: Rain - Oil Refinery, detail

Urban Art

Columbia Arts Center
Hood River, OR
July 2011

right: wire - Saigon, Vietnam - xerograph & oil atop melted plastic silkscreen

roadkill

As we continue down our path of over-consumption we get nearer to mass extinction. I created this series of road kill drawings to reflect the decimation of our environment by our current lifestyle. I photographed the animals in Texas, where it is illegal to remove carcasses killed on the highway. The animals were left to be picked clean and decay, so manifest the full process of disintegration. I feel it is important to bring attention to the current state of the environment as we depend on the natural world for our own survival. The works carry a warning for the future if we continue to allow what is happening through our current disregard of the environment.

roadkill drawings

Extinction
Denver Botanic Gardens

 

right: sparrow - detail; pencil and tar on paper

Voices of the Rio Grande

Taos Country Club
Gallery on the Green, Taos NM

New Mexico hosts one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in North America, according to the Nature Conservancy. This series is based on local birds who live or migrate through Northern New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley. The backgrounds of the paintings, while organically textured, are whited out to represent the constant environmental threats we face here in the high desert.

right: Gymnorhinus Cyanocephalus - watermedia, conte & pencil on paper

Vanishing Pollinators

910Arts - Nature: Working!
910 Santa Fe Dr, Denver
An intro to the patterns of sustainable systems with artistic works in all media. Artists and non-artists collaborate on ways to express the ideology of permaculture.

Bioneers Conference - WEAD installation
San Rafael, CA

Inspired by the importance of bees in the role they play as pollinators, this work was created in appreciation of the work they do to cultivate nourishing food. A beekeeper in New Mexico described how our state was one of only two who did not suffer from colony collapse disorder, and he attributed it to good agricultural practices. This work was a collaboration with my son when he was a year old. It is part of a larger series created out of concern about our broken food system, which became of utmost concern as I started feeding him. As I learned about the myriad of degenerative illnesses emerging in children, it became clear that a diet of processed foods is to blame. Working with pollinators instead of chemicals is part of the solution.

right: Bee - Collaboration with Thatcher Gray, water media, rust & sharpie on torn lithograph

Lee Lee - Bee

Lee Lee - Bee painting exhibited at the Bioneers conference - WEAD pollinators installation

Bleed

Texas National - Curated by Judy Pfaff

C Emerson Fine Art - St Petersburg, FL

Manifesting the state of aspen trees in Colorado, who are suffering from a cancorous infection. The infection causes them to bleed alizerin sap through their paper white skin, which gives a corporeal appearance to the trees.

right: Bleed - oil, sharpie & colored pencil on shotgunned plywood

materialism

Spirituality & Materialism
C Emerson Fine Art
St Petersburg, FL

 

The pine beetle has killed over 90% of Colorado's lodgepole pines, leaving behind whole mountain valleys cloaked in the rust color of dead forest. Warmer winters have allowed the beetle to flourish as they are usually kept in check by over a month of subzero temperatures.

pine

 

right: pine; oil on canvas

Lee Lee - painting of dead pines in Colorado

bleeding forest

In the last couple of years, groves of aspen have started bleeding to death. Their unexpected demise has baffled the scientific community, but it is believed that this new virus is caused by global warming.

Environmental Film Festival
Environmental Photography Exhibition at the American Mountaineering Center

right: Bleed - reflecting the current state of aspen in Colorado

bleeding aspen

Colorado

 

spring aspen

fallen spruce

right: Aspen; oil on shotgunned panel

Lee Lee - Aspen Grove in Colorado

flower

opposing the energies of creation vs destruction as well as masculine vs feminine.

right: lillies; oil on shotgunned plywood