It’s 100 years in the future. The fires of global warming have decimated the planet. As the surface of the Earth smolders, mankind floats the remaining buildings from enormous hot air balloons giving humanity a chance for survival. How long can they live suspended above a world laid to waste by the selfish ambitions of man? Is there a plan to resurrect a dying world? Has humanity learned to cherish a world that was? And that can be again?
I first painted a version of this picture ten years ago. I called it “Moving Day.” Like all of my work, it was a digital painting. The buildings hanging from the balloon are derived from abandoned buildings from Detroit. The painting was very popular and it sold out in many of the sizes I printed for sale. “Hanging Village” is a new digital painting. I revisited the same composition from ten years ago and repainted it in a more spontaneous rendering that gives the picture a more immediate look.
Project yourself into a different world; a fantasy world... one that may seem familiar to you. In this world, we watch, blindly, as our farms turn to deserts, our cities are flooded, and our population explodes. This world is ailing, but we optimistically look forward to better times when technology will solve all our problems.
But will it? Can environmental bureaucrats re-engineer our society to be more green? We trust them with our lives and our environment, even as they unleash unproven technology to unexpected consequences. We may laugh at their antics and their solutions, but we are optimists and they are powerful.
Is this world better for their involvement? Is the air more clean? The water more pure? The harvest more plentiful? Or do their reckless projects mock the ideas of renewal and redemption?
These are the themes of The Environmental Series, which use surrealistic imagery, fantasy, and, yes, humor to show a world of inept leadership and absurd solutions to environmental problems. Each painting tells the story of our constant efforts to make things better. Each one reflects our naive certainty that technology will solve our problems. Is there optimism in these paintings? You be the judge.
John Leben is a digital artist, and as such paints his pictures in his computer using powerful software, offering prints of his original compositions. That makes Leben a printmaker who uses digital technology for expression and reproduction. Paper prints are produced by the artist in his Saugatuck, Michigan studio. Canvas prints are produced one at a time at the Grand Rapids Michigan studio. All prints are individually signed and numbered by the artist.
Epson Watercolor paper Prints
• Watercolor paper prints are printed with archival Epson pigment inks on Epson Cold Press Bright Textured Paper, a 100% cotton rag paper that is acid, lignin, and chlorine free with a bright textured finish. Epson Cold Press Bright paper has a high color gamut and black density and is pH buffered with calcium carbonate for a true archival sheet.
• Unframed limited edition prints are backed by acid-free foam core and packaged in a clear acetate envelope. They are shipped flat.
• Framed limited edition prints are backed by acid-free foam core and glazed with reflection control acrylic for UV protection. Frames are museum-style matte black aluminum, Nielson profile 93-21
• All of John Leben's limited editions on paper feature distinctive deckled edges around the image with a generous white border that eliminates the need for a mat.
• Canvases are printed with archival Epson pigment inks on PremierArt Museum Bright Satin Canvas. Each canvas is coated with PremierArt Eco Print Shield, a solvent-free satin varnish that provides physical and UV protection for your print.
• Small, medium and large canvases are stretched on 3/4 inch hardwood stretcher bars and printed with a mirror edge suitable for hanging as a gallery wrap.
• For framed canvases, the stretched gallery wrapped canvas is suspended in a floater frame with a choice of black, maple or walnut framing.
• Extra large canvas prints are mounted on 1/2-inch gator board and double framed with black aluminum and honey oak with decorative brass bolts. Shipping is extra for extra large canvases.
• Custom sizes are also available. Contact John Leben: JLEBEN@LEBENART.COM
Vertical Format on Paper
Note Card - 3.5x7 inches
Open Edition With Envelope 14
Small - Edition of 150
Paper Size: 8x16 inches/Image Size: 5x12.5 inches
Framed (Black Aluminum): 150
Medium - Edition of 100
Paper Size: 12x24 inches/Image size: 11x20 inches
Framed (Black Aluminum): 250
Vertical Format on Canvas
Small - Edition of 50
Canvas and Image Size: 15x36 inches
Gallery Wrap - Mirror Edge: 595
Mirror Edge in Float Frame (Maple, Walnut or Black): 695
Medium - Edition of 30
Canvas and Image Size: 20x48 inches
Gallery Wrap - Mirror Edge: 895
Mirror Edge in Float Frame (Maple, Walnut or Black): 995
Large - Edition of 15
Canvas and Image Size: 25x60 inches
Gallery Wrap - Mirror Edge: 1250
Mirror Edge in Float Frame (Maple, Walnut or Black): 1450
Extra large Canvas - Edition of 5
Canvas and Image Size: 36x84 inches
Canvas mounted on 1/2-inch Gator Board and double framed in Black Aluminum and Honey Oak with decorative Brass bolts: 2950
NOTE FROM THE ARTIST
“Hey, thanks so much for stopping by and thank you for your interest in my work. I am constantly producing new work so please check back regularly. Also, keep in mind that many limited editions can be produced in additional custom sizes. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding my work. Take care and thanks for your support.” - John