Jeffrey DaCosta’s work deals with the idea of the landscape and the way we view it, but also how we live within it. DaCosta confronts humanity’s use of the land’s resources to challenge his audiences to reconsider how and why we use this land. In his installation consisting of a large landscape painting flanked by two aluminum chairs, DaCosta recreates a parlor scene reminiscent of the eighteenth century American West. Through this installation, the artist illustrates how our great Westward Expansion caused humanity to use the raw resources, perhaps to a point of surplus and luxury. His work juxtaposes the “trade of the living and temporal to the ageless and inanimate.” As Las Crucens, we live in this western landscape, but why? Considering the extremely dry conditions of our environment, why do we choose to live here? And at what cost to ourselves and the environment around us? Examining the West and humanity’s relationship to this area, Jeffrey DaCosta presents a series of important questions, especially relevant to our personal location: “How do we live within the land, how do we value that integration, and what do we sacrifice?”
Jeffrey DaCosta will be featured in the UAG’s 2015 Summer exhibition, “Re: Visioning the West.” The exhibition opening will take place on May 21st from 5-7pm.