This picture will be my contribution to the first ever ArtDēL. Curated by the Anti-Defamation League, each artist was challenged to create a work that will interpret one of ADL’s focus areas.
I chose Civil Rights: “Freedom of speech is a civil liberty I cherish. People make news. Newspapers cover the people. Sides are taken, rules are formed, and man is pitted against man. Once ideals and conviction meet opposition, you have humanity. Fear. Reveal. Tone deaf. Vendetta. Occupy. Apply (Yourself). For or against, you are entitled to your freedom of speech.”
Here is the video… after the jump? Some photos and thoughts.
Over the past year, many of my statements in reference to the Occupy movement have been greatly misinterpreted. In fact, this resulted in a long-format interview with Lauren DeLisa Coleman’s Smartpower radio show…. my belief is in people, and their ability to create a life for themselves and those around them. Please feel free to post your thoughts below, but I’d appreciate if you listen to the Smartpower interview to get my entire view first.
In my work, I can’t avoid sensationalism. Newspapers distill the actions of man into a group of words they design, print and sell — I make paintings out of newspapers. Zeroing-in on freedom of speech, I took headlines related to the Occupy movement and applied the new Occupy Logo over them, changing “Occupy.com” to “Apply.com”. Iconography, symbolism and good-old-fashioned branding becomes a necessary component for everything, including movements.
If you ever sit down and see the headlines in one newspaper, you will feel the world in which we live. Listen to the news… don’t even look at the TV. It’s incredible. Intonations of impending doom, crime, salacious gossip… coming up next, the news at ten, are your walls killing you slowly? And, a series of muggings in Central Park has the city stricken with fear. Is Lindsay Lohan close to the end, our inside source reports. And, is there a new way to lose weight AND eat carbs? Find out, the news at ten.
The two faces are W. Bryan Jennings and Mohamed Ammar. Why? They are currently in a well covered dispute over a drunken ride and stab situation. How does it fit? The news’ emphasis on 1% versus 99%… a concept developed by Occupy. Today, when bad things happen involving people of disparate income levels, they are pitted against one another as part of a two-part class system. This is no longer a person-to-person dispute, it’s about us versus them.
The final painting was exceedingly difficult to photograph, as the two tones in the “O” and “Apply.com” are very close.
You can get a better feel from this angle… though, sometimes, a photograph simply cannot capture a painting. Here’s hoping this picture finds a great home, and benefits the Anti-Defamation League, an important organization.
When: Thursday, May 17, 2012 – Sunday, May 20, 2012