We asked some of our favorite artists to visually define some ideas and genres we felt had a big presence in 2015. Ritchie Velasquez, a.k.a. Dela Deso, symbolises the marriage of radioactive ideas—and often materials—with classic mediums like sculpture and film with. The result is a face-melting acid green Mona Lisa. With disasters like Fukushima still fresh in the collective conscious, many artists grapple with how to feel about nuclear energy and the consequences thereof. Velasquez's illustration thus captures this clash between old mediums and new ideas.
Radioactive materials are an everyday part of life, powering cities all over the world, summoning fear of cancer or hope for super powers (depending on how many comic books you've read) in pop culture. Artists like Trevor Paglen, Chim↑Pom, and Phillip Stearns have harnessed these emotions in works ranging from sculptures made from radioactive material, to a visual remix of a Geiger counter. How we decide to deal with nuclear energy (and waste) will affect future generations for 10,000 years, and these works inform that process.
Here are some more artists who deal with nuclear power and its consequences.
See more of Dela Deso's work on his website.