pehiatt wrote:There are no well known outspoken artist in the market right now. Everyone I know is holding back. We talk in private but are not ready to go public. The price is to high. Fighting government is one thing but going against the mob is another.
pehiatt wrote:I believe that most of us here are very aware of many social-political issues that are dear to each of our hearts. There are however also problems with expressing our minds and feelings.
30 years ago I was always able to express myself on almost everything. I could openly express my beliefs even in the army. That has all changed.
During the 60's and 70's I owned a poster shop and illustrated for many social-political newspapers. My stands on civil rights, race relations and the Vietnam war labeled me as a radical liberal and there was a price to pay. My studio was raided several times by helmeted police and I had posters banned from sale in book stores etc. This also affected my employability in the commercial art world even hough I never took on the persona of a hippy.. Thats why I left and sought seclusion in an Ozark cabin for 8 years.
When I came back down from th nor is the placee mountain in 78 we were in an ultra conservative world. The free love, free thinking children of Aquarius had shed their tie died clothes and put on white shirts with ties; joining the corporate world of greed, corruption and exploitation. I went to work for the government and I had to tone down my objections to social injustice. Then came the Bush years where your political point of view linked directly to employment. For the first four years of his administration everyone even slightly to the left had to keep their mouth shut.
While I became a token liberal at work and now within a very conservative community I still have to watch what I say. People don't want to be reminded about difficult issues. There is little middle ground today. Free thinking is just not allowed. I have been asked to submit work for a homeless themed show in August and one on the political state of Washington in September. Maybe I will maybe I won't.
When I step out and raise my hand I quickly draw lightning. Many Web sites are closed to politically incorrect and unpopular points of view. Even family and friends are only willing to go so far to support you and any forum that exhibits social-political art becomes a forum for controversy. Even this web site can only handle so much.
My hope is that as I regain artistic standing I will also be able to raise my voice again. Now is not the time nor is this the place.
Menolly wrote:I can certainly understand the careful balance between making a point and upsetting people, but as you pointed out, everything gets blown out of proportion so easily today that it's almost impossible to even mention some subjects without risking a controversy. I'm not sure if its fear or social conditioning, or some combination of both, but I think it's time to try a little political tightrope-walking, because controversy seems to be the only thing that gets people to think these days.
Erika Takacs wrote:pehiatt wrote:There are no well known outspoken artist in the market right now. Everyone I know is holding back. We talk in private but are not ready to go public. The price is to high. Fighting government is one thing but going against the mob is another.
How about Banksy? No wonder he prefers to stay anonymous. True, it drives up the price tag, if you're that mysterious, but I don't think that's the main reason behind his hiding.
Here's a blog entry about Banksy I wrote a while ago. His website is worth to be checket out.
http://erikatakacs.wordpress.com/2008/0 ... artists-2/
Menolly wrote:I think pehiatt hit the nail on the head, in terms of the current attitude toward political and social issues. However, this forum strikes me as a fairly open-minded place, where it should be safe to display our true thoughts and feelings. (I will leave it to the more experienced members of this site to correct me if I am mistaken here.) I think the very fact that such fear exists in this country today should be the subject of a great deal of commentary in itself. Granted, I would never suggest that someone risk their work, their friendships, or dare I say their safety, but when even the young and foolish (I am referring to no one in particular here, except perhaps myself) are afraid to speak their minds about anything that could upset the status quo, then I would say that this country is very nearly screaming for a little reckless courage. I would think that the art world should hold at least one such person, and yet none have surfaced.
Forgive my rant. When I lack a picture for my thoughts, I tend to use the thousand words instead.
pehiatt wrote:The rules of good taste never apply. There is no such thing. Good taste is only an other way of stating convention. Civility has nothing to do with taste. If good taste were the rule we never would have Picasso and other giants of the modern art world.
Pawns only have real value if they live long enough to get into the power zone.
I like the tactfully untactful thing. Thats where art comes in. Artistic merit trumps everything.
pehiatt wrote:The art world has had many eccentrics (outside the main stream). Picasso was a communist and Dali was a fascist. Mapplethorpe was... you get the point.
Most galleries are main stream. I know some that are not but they are not doing very well. News papers, television and most other media are guarding their bottom lines. Museums are locking controversial work away in the dark corners of their vaults. Art Books are being reprinted to remove "questionable" matter. Writers are not getting published. All of this is being done to appease an intolerant and often ignorant public ready to jump on anyone not following the social-political correct line.
There are no well known outspoken artist in the market right now. Everyone I know is holding back. We talk in private but are not ready to go public. The price is to high. Fighting government is one thing but going against the mob is another.
pehiatt wrote:Banksy is really quite tame, social economics and anti consumerism all very main stream. I love his aborigines attacking shopping carts.
His stop and search series is a little more political but still in line with much of todays thinking. Banksy is really a visual reflection of protest that have already made their point. His popularity is an indicator that he is not really rocking the boat and most of his stuff would comfortably fit into most media venues.
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