It’s 100 years in the future. As usual, the technocrats got it wrong again. Thinking that the foul quality of the air was caused by emanations from outhouses, those brilliant technocrats gathered all the outhouses and stacked them up on a remote island far away from where people continued to struggle to breath. Having nowhere to “go,” the people rebelled. Riots broke out and the cities burned, leaving the remote island of outhouses as a monument to mankind’s stupidity.
I first painted a version of this picture ten years ago. I called it “Outhouse Island.” Like all of my work, it was a digital painting. The painting was very popular and it sold out in many of the sizes I printed for sale. “Outhouse 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 shipped rolled.
• 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.
Premier Art Museum Bright Satin Canvas Prints
• Canvases are printed with archival Epson pigment inks on PremierArt Museum Bright Satin Canvas. Each canvas is also coated with PremierArt Eco Print Shield, a solvent-free soft gloss varnish that provides physical and UV protection for your print.
• Medium canvases (20x48 inches) are stretched on 3/4 inch hardwood stretcher bars and printed with a black edge suitable for hanging as a gallery wrap.
• Large canvas (26x60 inches) are stretched on 1-1/2 inch hardwood stretcher bars and printed with a black edge suitable for hanging as a gallery wrap.
• Framed medium canvas prints are framed in a walnut wood floater frame.
• Framed large canvas prints are framed in a black wood floater frame.
• Extra large canvas prints are available in custom sizes. 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
Medium - Edition of 100
Paper Size: 12x24 inches/Image size: 11x20 inches
Large - Edition of 15
Paper Size: 16x32 inches/Image Size: 12x29 inches
Vertical Format on Canvas
Medium - Edition of 30
Canvas and Image Size: 20x48 inches
Gallery Wrap 1250
Large - Edition of 15
Canvas and Image Size: 26x60 inches
Gallery Wrap 1750
Extra large Canvas - Edition of 5
Contact John Leben
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 email@example.com with any questions regarding my work. Take care and thanks for your support.” - John