GAIA In Cleveland, Landscapes and Coalmines

“Straight up, this is too thoughtful and too amazing, we are speechless,” says Nick Marzullo of Pawn Works as he looks at this newly aerosoled wall by Gaia in Cleveland.

The large hand holds a gilded framed painting as if it is a snapshot, superimposing his ode to Yosemite Valley, the 1866 painting by German/American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt, over a 1952 coal mining scene called The Early Shift by celebrated Cleveland native realist Carl Gaertner.  The New York Street Artist continues to explore and incorporate cultural touchstones as he is influenced by them, leaving large pages from his travelogue sketchbook on walls in cities he visits.

Gaia. Zoetic Walls. Cleveland, Ohio. ( photo © Pawn Works Gallery)

This new piece is a part of a larger curated show but even on his unpermissioned walls Gaia takes you on his trip, conveying the truths and history and meanings he is uncovering, then uniquely recombining their elements to contrast their relative meanings and test their strength perhaps.  This new wall may be interpreted as commentary on the 19th/20th century industrialization of the country that once boasted breathtaking natural beauty idealized by painters. Undoubtedly the Gen Y Gaia also may have in mind the fracking industry in this day that threatens to destroy even more of the beauty and natural resources for his generation and the next.

Gaia appears here at “Zoetic Walls” in conjunction with Arts Collingwood and curated by Pawn Works, who will be showing us more from their new Midwest project as it evolves in Cleveland, Chicago, and even parts of Wisconsin.

Gaia. Zoetic Walls. Cleveland, Ohio. ( photo © Pawn Works Gallery)

Gaia. Zoetic Walls. Cleveland, Ohio. ( photo © Pawn Works Gallery)

Pawn Works would like to thank Callaloo Café in Cleveland for their support (Kelvin, Nico), and Amy Callahan at Arts Collinwood.