Justin Brice Guariglia
ARTIST | PROVOCATEUR
Justin Brice Guariglia is an artist and provocateur with a clear message: art is one of our greatest tools for making the climate crisis tangible. The self-taught New York-based artist and photographer with tattoos of climate change trends on both arms is known for creating artwork that addresses the broken relationship between humans and the natural world. “Enough dystopian views of the future,” he stresses. “We need a new narrative when it comes to addressing global warming, ecological collapse, and species extinction, and a new perspective that generates respect and a greater understanding of our natural world.”
Over a decade ago, his children’s’ birth spurred Justin to refocus his art on addressing the ecological crisis. “I realized I’d brought these two small human beings into a world that was in great decline,” he shares, “and I felt an urgent responsibility to help our civilization reconnect with the natural world.” Today, Justin’s prolific art exhibitions and projects like WE ARE THE ASTEROID and Earth Works: Mapping The Anthropocene aim to raise public consciousness about climate change and the ecological crisis. “It’s ironic that in the past, artists used to create fiction, but today, surrounded by fiction, artists now need to create reality,” he quips, relating to a quote by satirist J.G. Ballard.
Justin believes that today’s artist’s role is to help us better see and understand the world around us. “I feel that communicating a sense of outrage and optimism will bring more people into the climate conversation.”
Who inspires Justin Brice Guariglia?
Justin’s inspirations are “people thinking deeply about the ecological crisis,” namely philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists. Philosophers, as some of his regular collaborators, have had the most profound impact on him. “Philosophy is a brilliant tool to figure out which questions to ask when things are unclear,” he explains. “Donna Haraway is a favorite—she’s brilliant and playful.” He reveres socially engaged artists and activists, like Ai Weiwei (a friend), and believes that artists need to embrace science to address climate change and the ecological crisis effectively. He also admires Christiana Figueres, an instrumental figure in the Paris climate accord. “Her podcast, Outrage and Optimism, is the only podcast I listen to,” he exclaims. “She’s lively and brings great energy to the conversation [about climate change] with her co-hosts, Paul and Tom.”
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