March 9, 2017
Politically Inspired Art: Part 2
and-mortar gallery exhibition, I would follow up with a studio visit.
The images here are all presented the same width or height (depending on the orientation), even though the actual works vary considerably in size. Digital images look different on every device, varying in size, color, contrast, brightness, resolution, etc.
That having been said, here are the works I’ve chosen. The artists are: Nurit Avesar, Mark Bryan, Michael Chomick , Melanie Maria Ciccone, Mike Diehl, Jeanne Dunn, Christina Franco-Long, Martin Gantman, Moira Hahn, Reineke Hollander, Deborah Kennedy, Laura Larson, Kara Maria, Andres Montoya, Thinh Nguyen, Ave Pildas, John Rosewall, Kenny Schneider and Regina Silvers.
I welcome your feedback on the exhibition and on digital exhibitions in general.
Jeanne Dunn, Women Must Vote!, 2016, photocopy and collage on paper, 16” x 22”
I created this piece as part of a feminist show, Feminism Now, in 2016.
It was before the US Presidential election, and I was anticipating having our first woman President.
I continue to feel that had Hilary Clinton been elected the rights of women and children as well as men would be given the focus they desperately need for our country to thrive.
There is a world need for citizens’ rights-minded women to hold public office and have power to enact laws that protect the safety, well being, and education of women and children and minorities everywhere.
Michael Chomick, Cipher, mixed media, 96" x 65" x 24"
Cipher addresses the perpetual war that the American Government and the war profiteers have been engaged in, costing many lives to be destroyed all the while making massive profits.
Regina Silvers, At The Woman's March: Dag Plaza #2 , 2017, acrylic
on paper, 36 x 24”
Dag Plaza 2 is part of my new series, which is based on my experience at the Woman’s March. I attended the March in New York, with friends and my buddies in the Granny Peace Brigade.
Kara Maria, Enrique (Fear No Art), 2016, acrylic on canvas, 8” x 8”
This is a portrait of my husband, Enrique Chagoya. He was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in 1979, and became a citizen in 2000. He is an artist and a professor at Stanford University. I painted this for a group exhibition called With Liberty and Justice for Some that includes portraits of US immigrants by over 100 artists configured in the form of an American flag, in response to the current US administration's immigration policies.
Moira Hahn, Wild Ride, watercolor, 15” x 22”
I was invited to create a work involving a Meiji-period steam locomotive train, in Japan, controlled by a cat engineer, for an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History. The exhibition, "The Art of Getting There; Railroad Inspired Artistry." will open soon. My painting will be shown with Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) from the1880s that depict locomotives in Japan.
In order to draw attention to the cat, photos of Walt Disney riding atop the engine of a model train, years before Disneyland, informed its scale and my composition. The cat began to resemble our president, including its wild, pale forelock.
Nurit Avesar, Migration Thrust, 2017, mixed media, 12" x 12"
Deborah Kennedy, Changed Climate, 2017, mixed media, detail
This installation invites viewers to contemplate our current ecological crises. The fourteen books in this artwork, now rendered inaccessible, contain images of a thriving natural world now either gone or damaged, and important scientific information concerning our declining environment. Ecological challenges explored in these books include rising rates of species extinctions, ocean acidification, the death of coral reefs, forest mortality, pollution of our air and water, as well as an increasingly unstable climate. Climate change, our most pressing problem, is accelerating many of these environmental challenges, and may soon threaten the stability of our societies as food and water become more expensive and scarce.
Mark Bryan, The Nightmare, oil on canvas, 2017, 30” x 40”
The Nightmare is inspired by editorial cartoonists of the early 1900's such as Thomas Nast and especially Udo Keppler's cartoon about the Standard Oil Monopoly in 1904.
Thinh Nguyen, Grab Nastay, 2016, digital poster print, 24” x 36”
The Grab Nastay poster and mantra-song is in response to the president’s comment "Grab them by the pussy!" Long Long (Nguyen’s alter-ego) embraces the comment as a form of empowerment. In the Grab Nasty mantra-song Long Long rebels, singing provocatively: “I am a nasty! You know you wanna make my pussy wet. Grab My Pussy!"
Andres Montoya, fuga, 2013, mixed media on paper, 16” x 22”
Ave Pildas, We Are Not Ok, photos by Ave Pildas, edited by Waleska Santiago, 2016, digital photography, video
For one hour on July 4th, 2016 I celebrated the birthday of United States of America on Skid Row with homeless in Los Angeles, where over 41,000 people are homeless.
Laura Larson, Roll Call, 2016, archival pigment print, 16" x 20"
We all know that animals are going extinct at an alarming rate. Our current political climate is, I fear, going to speed up the process. This image was inspired by the poem by William Stafford called “Roll Call” in which a Black Footed Ferret stands with hands folded encircled by other animals who are nearing or already on the endangered species list as he begins his eulogy “Dearly Beloved.”
Melanie Maria Ciccone
Melanie Maria Ciccone, James Baldwin, 2017, blind contour drawing vellum and marker, 11” x 14”
Inspired by his writings and the current Raoul Peck film: “I Am Not Your Negro.” Incredible civics lesson for all Americans and human beings, besides being great film making. Can't say enough about his writings and this project against the backdrop of now March 2017.
Christina Franco-Long, Orphan Rock Project : Image 2, 2017, color photograph on archival paper, 18” x 36”
This work was made at The Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens during the midst of the Donald Trump inaugural days. I found solace from all that was keeping me awake at night. I have become so invested in the daily hysteria of what was going on in our government that I began protesting and reading watching listening voraciously to the news. Going to the gardens let me breathe and think. Each visit I brought a different friend with me to talk, take in the earth and of course talk about politics. The "orphan rock" represents feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Martin Gantman, 25 Migrant Journeys, 2011, archival digital print, 33” x 46”
Empire was a project about economic globalization, and this piece, 25 Migrant Journeys, is from a segment that shows how people around the world have been affected by changes that have occurred and over which they have little control. In this particular piece, which displays the destabilization that is one of the results of globalization, 25 images taken from the Internet show different ways that people try to escape from an onerous environment toward a hopefully better one; sometimes successfully; sometimes not.
Kenny Schneider, Tomorrow is not another day, 2016, plywood, enamel, pistol replicas, 15" x 25"
John Rosewall, March, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 42" x 58"
Mike Diehl, BORDC Poster, 2003, manipulated photo, 11" x 17"
This is a poster/postcard I designed for the Pasadena Bill of Rights Defense Committee, formed in 2003 in response to the USA Patriot Act -- so it is overtly and specifically political.
Reineke Hollander, Wedding Album: The Marriage between Fear and Hate, 2017, textiles, vintage photographs, beads, sewing; 13.5" x 32" x ca 11"
In my current body of work ('books' and collages of textiles and vintage photographs), I abstract ad absurdum our tendency to stereotype groups of people both in the smaller context of our daily lives and the larger political one.
By eliminating the individual faces in the photographs and adding colored beads or small pieces of painted canvas, I create smaller or bigger groups of ‘Other People’ that can only be identified by their characteristic of, say, having a blue bead or a canvas triangle for a head.