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The photograph Oil + Water was taken by Ryan Spencer Reed at last year’s Dakota Access Pipeline protest in North Dakota. It is a large, lyrical monochromatic image tarnished to create the illusion of an oil-slick on the surface of the Grand River. Compelled to bring his experience at Standing Rock home, Ryan chose a messenger supported by the very thing it's attempting to protect, and made almost entirely from the contaminant in question. By creating the illusion of oil in water in the state’s longest river, it is the collective hope of the artists to convey the importance of clean water. The installation is also symbolic of the struggle for native rights, climate change, and fossil fuel dependency. Both Ryan and curator Richard App share a passion for creating works that are visually compelling and carry strong social statements. In respect for the forces of nature, the river creates fractures in the image; 'Water is Life’. >>> Background: https://spark.adobe.com/page/6u3QK7QjC8pcw/

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 100ft
  • Medium: Photography
  • Width: 100ft
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 1ft

About Oil+Water

Curator, artist, & gallery owner Richard App & photographer Ryan Spencer Reed have each offered memorable works in past ArtPrize events. This year they have collaborated to provoke meaningful conversations on critical issues of our time: Michigan's unique responsibility to a large share of the global fresh water supply; indigenous rights; & climate change.