Photographer Shows Swimmers in Oil

Marissa is one of a series of photos called Crude Awakening by Jane Fulton photo

Image: © 2010 Jane Fulton Alt ~ Marissa, Crude Awakening

The stares of individuals, families, friends -- wavering between defiant and hopeless -- in Jane Fulton's "Crude Awakening" project invoke a visceral impact. The devastating repercussions of the BP oil spill have inspired many artists, and some work similar to Fulton's.

Fulton's work is taking flak for lack of authenticity. We give you the facts, and ask: doesn't the value of art derive precisely from the fact that it is not the real thing? Watch the video, in which Fulton shows all of her photos set to music (in the extended), and make up your own mind. Jane Fulton lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. All of the images in Crude Awakening were taken there. This has spurred responses like "Before reading the caption I thought 'that's not the gulf that's Lake Michigan' And behold, it be. Oily pregger yuppies from the north shore. WTF." by toxonix at boing boing.

We say the fact that an artist on the shores of Lake Michigan feels the pain of the Gulf oil spill so acutely as to co-opt models into this messy project drives home the point that all of us are part of the mess. Without our greed for oil, the citizens along the Gulf coast and the denizens of the Gulf's depths would not be suffering as they now are.

What do you say? Check out all the photos in the YouTube video below, or see the high quality images on Jane Fulton's Crude Awakening website. For those of you worried about the babies and baby bumps photographed, you should know that although all of the models volunteered to pose coated in oil for the series, Fulton and her volunteers "quickly came up with other substances that might substitute for the oil."

My faves are "Marissa" (above) and "Ben". Which one(s) do you like best?

Video: YouTube, janealt
More BP Oil Spill Crude Awakenings:
BP Oil Spill Sparks a Crude Awakening (VIDEO)
Oil Spill Emotions Captured in Ironic Photo
BP Gets Punked: 7 Best Oil Spill Pranks & Satires (Images)

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