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Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability


On working sustainable as an Artist 

By Anders Frantsen


As I am writing this, the project is coming to an end. The ecological problems facing this world are indeed grave and multifaceted. And how should I, we, as painters approach this, is the question I am left with.


Should I take aim and with biting, sarcastic imagery ridicule the owners, politicians and conglomerates of this world who enable this system of destruction?

Is this enough?

A drawing here,

A painting there,

when the consumption economy and Homo Economicus is facilitated everywhere?


Should I take personal responsibility; do what I can, to use the most biodegradable materials available.


Acrylic and oil paints get washed off after use in the sink. From here it goes into the water supply and becomes microplastics. I might as well just eat it then and there, which is just the same, as the plastic ends back inside my body anyway. It is just a matter of time.


Or I can use the materials sold and branded as “natural”. Watercolor made of all natural materials is the only available option in my local paint store. It is priced four times the amount of a regular tube of watercolor!


Most artists are not rich. They never have been and they never will be.


“It is dug out from under mountains. “ The seller explained to me.

I smell the fumes of diesel and imagine the heavy machinery used to dig out the color from deep inside the mountain down in Italy. I Imagine the long way this tiny tube has traveled and the carbon cost of this transportation.


Can I trust the seller? And can I trust the marketing?

I'm not so sure.


“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was, convincing the world he didn't exist“


This might just be the conglomerates trying to shift their responsibility over to me, and charging me four times the regular price in the process.

There is no official sign of approval that indicates to a consumer that a paint product is in actuality sustainable. There is no svanemærke, as we would say in danish.

All corporations will dress as green as they can to sell. It's all marketing and reputation, in this world facilitated by surface level images. And it will continue to be, until hard regulations are put in place.



In the future, I hope the transparency of the true environmental impact of the art materials will be available to consumers easily. I hope the people and the politicians have demanded proper policies, despite the short term loss of profit it will inevitably cost. 


I'm still not sure how to work truly sustainably.


But until then, I will continue drawing Sisifos rolling his object of burden and imagining he is happy doing so.

Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab Expressing Sustainability
Ghana Venskab


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