Scott Greene – MOBRO: High Seas Drifter


Artwork Description

Scott Greene – MOBRO: High Seas Drifter

Dimensions: 50 x 64″
Year: 2015
Media: oil on canvas over panel

Scott Greene’s oil on canvas over panel work, MOBRO: High Seas Drifter, references the Mobro 4000, a barge tasked with carrying over six million pounds of trash from New York to North Carolina. The barge was forced to return to New York after five months adrift, being rejected by three foreign countries and several states. Greene reexamines the tale by rendering the ship in his own artistic style, transforming it from a frumpy industrial transportation vessel into a romanticized beacon of beauty set against a stunning sunset. Birds swarm melodiously above the barge, with the white bails sagging under their own weight, like a colonial powdered wig. There is no crew or physical presence aboard the ship, suggesting that the very material that represents a product of human consumption has now consumed its producers.

Scott Greene’s work portrays an exquisite level of artistic skill and knowledge of art history, the combination of which immediately captures the viewers’ attention and allows them to visually realize the effects of human excess. He uses the immense beauty he is able to create from current environmental topics to reframe our perspective and return to more diligent stewardship of nature. The actual MOBRO barge spurred greater societal concern about lack of landfill space, prompting a tidal wave of recycling initiatives. Greene seeks for his painting to have the same massive impact as its tragic inspiration.

Greene’s paintings are widely recognized for advocating greater environmental stewardship. MOBRO and several of his other works are currently touring museums in an exhibition titled “Environmental Impact”.
-Tonya Turner Carroll

Greene’s work functions as a form of socio-political commentary and “uses the composition of a historical work as a matrix for making a painting that humorously examines the relationship between politics, nature and culture”. After studying in California and receiving his BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, Greene moved to New Mexico, where he received his MFA in painting and has since lived for almost 30 years. Greene’s work derives much of its influence from the enormous beauty of the New Mexico landscape, where he describes that, “the expansive space, vivid light and western frame of reference informs the narrative content in my work, and the alien beauty of high desert skies serve as backdrops for many compositions.” Greene also touches on the complex interplay between beauty and environmental exploitation within his oeuvre—an issue he sees as being both pertinent to and prevalent within global society, today.