New and unexpected directions have opened up in 2017. Last November’s dramatic shift in the political landscape reminded me of similar awakenings in the past. I rediscovered long lost art. I dredged it up with re-kindled passion and I’m sharing it again on my website. In response to these old versions of myself I have also created new art in resonant harmony. In this strangely alternative universe, I have also embraced it as a theme. I’ve even re-branded myself by changing my facial hair for the first time since 2004 sporting a goatee rather than a soul patch (Star-Trek enthusiasts will understand).
“The game is afoot” as Sherlock would say, though for myself it feels more like playing “Russian Roulette” with the future. Maybe I should have gone with a “Back to the Future” reference since it appears that an actual Biff is occupying the Whitehouse? Whatever. Let’s take a minute and summarize the Seattle Art Loft activities so far this year.
Blasts from the Past:
“It’s Not What It Seems” is a graphic design inspired by Reagan-era politics, when I realized for the first time, that we don’t truly have a democracy, ours, at the time was a federal republic. The distinction means that the Presidency is not elected directly by the citizens, but an ‘electoral college’ and each state determines the rules under which they vote. It also means that citizens voting in less populous states wield a higher voting authority than those in highly populated states.
Does that sound like Democracy to you?
“Forever Lost” is a new graphic design based on old art that was never published. Recently I’ve been looking at past work, and resurrecting some. For those keeping track this one sets a new record. Having remained in the vault for 33 years without being shared or displayed. I hope that sharing it helps bring some awareness of what we loose when archaeological sites are destroyed. If you think it’s not political, place yourself in Anasazi shoes. Now ask yourself what happens when cultures fail?
“Rule of Law” is a new graphic design conceived and executed after the election. My gut instinct told me that this seminal concept would be the most important thing to remember going forward. I felt it would be important to be willing to call this up and do something with it later, even though at the time I didn’t know what that would be.
As it turns out, I’m sending a post card of this art to the President every time he crosses the line. I will be documenting each new contribution in an art display in the loft as the year goes by. An expression of another fundamental concept called the first amendment, or “Freedom of Speech”.
“Red Dawn” Jan 20, 2017. This political parody blends the concepts of two movies: ‘Manchurian Candidate’ & ‘Red Dawn’ with Trump’s inauguration date. In 1962 the former title portrayed infiltration by a brainwashed Presidential Candidate. In 1984 the later title portrayed a Soviet invasion. Our 45th president will be an Oligarch brought to power by the intervention of The Russian Federation, so I used the U.S. Flag and removed the state stars, then overlaid the Russian coat-of-arms which is used as the insignia or emblem of the Russian President Vladimir Putin in a visual transliteration of events.
The fact that these are all graphic designs rather than fine art prints is also interesting. It represents a new category on my site, and if you’re curious about the differences you can read more about the categories here –Graphic Design– and here –Printmaking-.