Manifest Destiny, 2004, oil and acrylic on wood. Smithsonian Musuem of American Art. 2015.
This was painted by Alexis Rockman, born 1962, American. He wants to show the effect of global warming on the Brooklyn, New York waterfront. The waters have risen. Bridges are submerged. There is no evidence of human beings here. Flora and fauna are here.
Manifest Destiny is the artist’s name for his painting.
The original use of the term is, of course, to the widespread belief from the middle of the 19th century onwards of the destiny of Americans to move westwards and establish democracy and peace coast to coast.
This was later adopted by the American state as a rationale for military and non-military activities outside its borders.
This painting is vast. Nobody would work for so long on a canvas of this size without, among other things, love. Not a straightforward love, either. Probably.