And Then, There Were None
Climate change continues to significantly alter coastal environments, and many migratory birds are under constant threat of extinction. While flamingos are not endangered at present, their unique shallow-water feeding habit makes them vulnerable to rising salt water levels. However, unlike other bird species, an indestructible replacement already exists for flamingos - pink, plastic yard-animals. Ironically, there are more plastic flamingos today than live flamingos. And then, there were none includes digital photographs of plastic flamingos, altered to suggest a future art based on the plastic yard sculptures. The artwork asserts that, in the future, plastic flamingos will be a source of inspiration for generations who will never see a living flamingo. Here, the plastic figures are represented without the usual "kitschy" overtones. They are presented as intimate, stylish, energized, powerful, and loving.
Carl Patow is a visual artist living in Richmond, VA. He graduated from VCU's Masters in Fine Arts program in 2019, and has exhibited his work at multiple venues in Richmond, as well as nationally and internationally. His art is almost invariably based on significant contemporary social issues, from which he generates ideas, engages in research for context, and creates his artwork. Pre Covid-19, he concentrated on community-generated artworks that were collectively produced, often in conjunction with multiple individual one-on-one conversations. It is not unusual for him to personally attend at his installations, talking with viewers about issues raised by his work and eliciting their impressions and observations. During the past two years his practice has turned to digital photography, often manipulating images, employing digital collage and photographic mirroring techniques.
Carl Patow holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, an MD degree from the University of Rochester, and Masters degrees in Public Health (Johns Hopkins University), Business Administration (University of St Thomas) and Fine Arts (VCU). He has participated in an international residency in Budapest, Hungary, and has attended numerous workshops including The Art of Photographing Dance at Pillow Dance Center, Total Immersion at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and Experimental Photography with Whitney Browne, New York, NY. He has received awards including Most Transformational Parklet at the 2019 Richmond Park(ing) Day, and was a 2012 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Nominee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, in the category: Documentary – Topical Television. He has participated in the 1708Gallery InLight exhibitions twice, winning “best of show” at the VMFA InLight event in 2018, and, with an illuminated installation about redlining in RIchmond in 2020.