Today on Planet 100: Street Art to Land Art and Beyond (Video)


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Though the label "environmental art" was used to describe the work of landscape painters like John Constale and Monet throughout history, eco-art as a movement did not emerge until environmetalism took hold in the 1960s and 1970s.

Since then artists like Christo and John Fekner have defined the term "eco-art"—and redefined notions of art in general.Today, artists like Banksy and Maya Lin continue to push the boundaries of art—all the while incorporating strong messages about the environment and humanity's place in the natural world.

Now, Planet 100 counts down the top five environmental artists.

5. Banksy

Banksy, the legendary graffiti artist transitions from the street to the small screen.

The Simpson's opening sequence highlights the artist's view on the mass commercialization of cheap consumer goods. From sweatshops and the abuse of human workers to the exploitation of animals to environmental-degradation, Banksy unveils the ugly side of consumerism.

Read more: Banksy's Simpsons Intro Shows Dark Side of Pop Culture
More about Banksy:
"I don't believe in global warming" Clever Graffiti by Banksy
Banksy Turns Kiddie Ride Into Anti-BP Statement
Banksy Continues His Environmental Theme in Graffiti
Banksy's Graffiti Wars on the Canal

4. Maya Lin

Chinese-American artist Maya Lin sculpture and landscape art is dedicated to raising awareness about the environment.

From "Missing" a multi-media multi-site memorial that aims to build awareness about the sixth extinction to "Silver River," an 84-foot cast of the Colorado River made entirely of reclaimed silver, Maya Lin is goddess of eco awareness.

Read more: How Can Eco-Art Inspire Change?

3. John Fekner

Before Banksy, there was Fekner, who blends performance and activism, graffiti and advocacy. He's at number three in our Top 5 Disarming Eco Artists.

His 1981 Toxic Waste video was inspired by the Love Canal development in Niagara Falls, New York, which had 21,000 tons of toxic waste buried beneath it. The 2010 revamp is dedicated to Camillus, New York, whose community has been fighting plans to bury toxic sediment from Onondaga Lake.

Read more: Eco Artist John Fekner Revamps Famous Toxic Waste Video for Earth Day
SLIDESHOW: Long Before Banksy, Guerilla Artist John Fekner Tagged Environmental Woes

2. Christo

Controversial eco artist Christo Javacheff is being called an eco terrorist over his latest project.

"Over the River," which plans to cover a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado, is being opposed by environmental groups. But that's nothing new for the controversial artist who has spent countless years and millions of dollars lobbying to wrap landmarks like the Reichstag and New York's Central Park in fabric.

SLIDESHOW: The Controversial Environmental Artwork of Christo and Jean-Claude

1. Andy Goldsworthy

In at number one, British artist and environmentalist, Andy Goldsworthy, creates ephemeral sculptures made from nature.

Goldsworthy's art involves the use of natural and found objects, to create both temporary and permanent sculptures which draw out the character of their environment. His stunning work was captured in the 2001 documentary, Rivers and Tides.

Read more: Top 5 Environmental Artists Shaking Up the Art World
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