2011 - Oil & Water - Paintings - New York, NY

For millions of years, oil and water have quietly coexisted. However,
that all changed as humans got industrious and began to alter the
Earth. People mixed our natural resources and shook things up. Stretch
your imagination and one could say that the modern economy is a 21st
Century environmental smoothie. When you blend seven billion people
into the global equation, we wind up with a stressed ecosystem and an
economy that is leaving more and more people behind. Everyone knows,
this accelerated sort of “progress” is not sustainable. And in spite
of our best intentions, it is a simple fact that oil and water do not

Arguably oil and water are two of the most sought after resources in
the world. Water often marks national boundaries and the control of
oil equals power. Life as we know it today depends both on oil and
water, and ever increasing demand seems to influence each global news

 Politicians and businessmen jockey for control of oil fields while
armies position themselves for the next strategic war. Although water
is an essential ingredient for life, oil is truly death. It is a form
of carbon that is left behind from past lives that ended ages ago.

It is a funny concept to think that the transformed remains of dead
organisms from millions of years ago have become our most essential
energy commodity.

Perhaps oil and water can no longer peacefully get along with each
other. Metaphorically, the idea resonates. Water is yin and oil is
yang.  Water represents regeneration, while oil is toxic. Immerse
yourself in water, but beware when your skin is in contact with oil.
To sustain life, we need to drink water everyday, but beware of
noxious petroleum fumes. Caution is advised when you are surrounded by
exhaust and smoke for it could poison you to death.

People like to look at water and will pay a high price for waterfront
property. The same people would never want a home that overlooks an
oil field. God forbid that an oil slick would land on their beach.
After all, one should enjoy water. Oil on the other hand is something
you keep out of sight. It is wealth, it is power, it is an investment,
it is a commodity for speculation, it is a fuel to burn. Our
tumultuous love affair with oil is harshly in conflict with the
universal need for clean, peaceful water.

Neil Tetkowski