MUSÉE Magazine: FEATURE: SPILL
Written by Grace Russell
I will never forget the day that news broke of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Up until then, I saw the climate through rose-colored glasses and was unaware of how much humanity was damaging our planet right in front of me. Since then, the topic of climate change has become a significant focus in my life and the lives of many others. As the years go by and human errors continue to have disastrous effects, pressing issues are put on the backburner. As we silently sit back and let these disasters happen, our planet suffers.
After the underwater gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico two weeks ago, the focus is once again on the oil companies for their negligence of our planet’s fragility. An explosion, aptly dubbed the “Eye of Fire,” generated a devastating cascade of flames on the surface resembling molten lava. According to Pemex, the oil company, the fire was caused by a gas leak from an undersea pipeline that built up in the water, ignited by a strike of lightning. It was put out in just over five hours.
While deeply upsetting and condemnable, these disasters also bring opportunities for artists to depict the reality of the situation. Daniel Beltrá, a Spanish photographer, focuses on the human impact on our environment throughout his work. In his collection of images from the 2010 BP oil spill, titled SPILL, Beltrá depicts the unfiltered consequences of these man-made errors while also projecting a critical view on climate change.