Straus’s concern for the environment carries on throughout his oeuvre. For instance, in his recent “Glitch” series of paintings, Straus’s commentary is obvious and well-defined. He is noticeably interested in the boundless accessibility we currently have to otherwise remote areas like Antarctica, as a result of modern technology. Straus’s process includes taking a photograph of an Arctic landscape, and then running it through an iPhone app called “Glitch.” This allows technology to distort, and literally make its mark on the photo. Straus then paints these technological distortions onto his classical landscape, and he breaks the plane of the canvas by painting on the frame. This accentuates the power of the hand of man and mankind on nature.
Adam Straus was born in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1956, into a family parented by Civil Rights activists. His passion for art grew while at the University of Florida from 1976-1980. After receiving a degree in mathematics, Straus studied photography with Jerry Uelsmann and Evon Streetman. In 1980, Straus enrolled in Florida State University’s Master’s program, and began crafting assemblages and sculpture. Straus did not begin painting until six years later (1986), and his first paintings were made with house paint, furniture varnish, and encased in sheet lead, depicting monochrome images that were not dissimilar to black-and-white photographs. Soon after moving from Florida to New York City in 1990, acclaimed art dealer, Norah Haime, took notice of Straus’s talent, and offered him a solo exhibition, “Greetings from Toxic Paradise” (1993). 25 years later, Norah Haime Gallery still represents Straus’s work, and has placed Straus in many important collections.
Today, Straus is known for his majestic and luminous depictions of the sublime, which are often saturated with a concern about social and environmental issues. His penetrating dark humor can transport the viewer to post-apocalyptic worlds and often offers a wry observation on how humans have altered the natural landscape.