Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is Art Enough?

Enough for what you may ask.  The question came to mind after reading this blog post about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
Although we are not appreciated the way artists are in Europe, artists in America have pretty easy go of it compared to those in China if we want to make overtly political art. After reading the post about Ai, I've got this urge to make more of my art political, inclusive and all of the others things post author Keith Meatto writes about.

I liked the fact Meatto contrasted the work of Ai against that of certain Brooklyn artists who had some kind of weekend festival.  I'm not sure that I've really done that in any of my work, although it was interesting to have one young curator tell me what she saw in one of my lightbox pieces that were at Lumens last fall courtesy of the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento.

Right now I'm really steamed about the way Republicans in government want to defund Planned Parenthood and it seems like we're gonna relive the battles of birth control and abortion all while health insurance is too expensive for many of my friends and the rich keep getting richer while children are hungry in this country.  But I can't quite find the way to use this anger in my artwork, at least not for now.  Don't worry, I'll keep it simmering on the stove top nonetheless.

 One of my favorite political artists is Diane Bush, who now lives in Las Vegas.  I thought her "Imbleachment" project was excellent.  You can see more of her work here

OK... that's your trip for this week from China to Vegas and back here to Maine.  If you're in the Portland area, check out the Portland Performing Arts Festival starting on Thursday and going to Sunday.  If you're a theatre geek, don't miss PortFringe which starts tonight!  I'm going to see
Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights by the Portland Theater Collaborative to get my Gertrude Stein fix.  Later I'll see modern dance by Alison Chase's company and will usher and get to see some theatre by Celebration Barn and a site-specific take on All's Well by the Naked Shakespeare Company.
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