The exhibit Spill: Images from the Gulf at The G2 Gallery is a must see for anyone living in or visiting the Los Angeles area. Spill features aerial photos taken by Daniel Beltrá of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. When I first heard about the exhibit, I thought…oh great, photos of nasty dirty oil, do I really want to see that?
Well, it turns out that photos of an oil spill done by a true artiste (pronounce with a French accent) contain equal parts tragedy, beauty, heartbreak, hope, retribution and redemption. The photo above is a perfect example. Floating black swatches of oil are crisscrossed with stunning brilliant blue ocean stripes made by boats doing cleanup work. The boat path running diagonally through the photo is rimmed by fire. The aerial shot captures the immensity of the disaster, yet the blue manages to convey hope. Maybe some aspects of the Gulf will survive, maybe some animals will make it.
Beltrá spent 40 days (very biblical) documenting the BP oil spill. According to the press release from The G2 Gallery, Beltrá uses his work to take viewers to locations where man and nature are at odds in order to “instill a deeper appreciation for the precarious balance we are imposing on the planet.” He definitely accomplishes this, but you really have to see the photos to grasp the scope of his work and also the implications.
So head to The G2 Gallery and see this exhibit before April 21st! Only then will you be able to understand the oil spill’s ability to turn ships into toy boats and brown pelicans into black statues. I left the exhibit feeling hope; hope that the Gulf is able to recover, hope that it never happens again and hope that we’ve finally learned our lesson.