Alexis Rockman was born in 1962, in New York and subsequently grew up there his whole life. Throughout his childhood, Rockman very often frequented the American Museum of Natural History as well as traveled to Australia a number of times due to his stepfather being an Australian jazz musician. He developed a fond interest in natural history and science, as well as a liking for film, animation, and the arts. This fascination for history and science most likely stemmed from his mother’s occupation-working for anthropologist Margaret Mead. He painted his first mural, Evolution, in 1992 and his career soon flourished. His works primarily focus on nature and the natural world, whether that be though large scale murals or field drawings of animals and foliage. He currently lives in New York City and works out of a studio in the city’s Tribeca neighborhood.
Kapok Tree immediately grabs the viewer’s attention due to the flamboyant colors on display. Located throughout the scene are multiple brightly colored frogs, all in various locations, allowing the painting to have specs of color that contrast with the background. All the frogs are leaping from or perched atop giant bright green leaves that make up a majority of the color at display. In contrast with the bright, lively scene taking place at the bottom of the tree, the upper half...
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...s cover the night sky. This in turn emphasizes the beauty of nature and its incredible scope; a world in which a frog measuring no less than four inches long and a tree measuring more than one hundred and fifty feet tall both rely on each other for their survival and if one were to fail, so would the other.
In conclusion, through a flamboyant color scheme that immediately grabs the attention of the viewer and further reals them in, as well as an emphasis on lighting that divides the painting into two very different scenes, Alexis Rockman’s Kapok Tree both subtly and forthright conveys its message: Nature and its inhabitants are beautiful. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and are different in so many ways, but in the end, they all need each other to survive. This is the beauty of nature, in its most purest form, it is the perfect symbiotic relationship.
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