Sunday, September 30, 2012

New show at the Blue Planet in Topeka

I've got a new show of stencil prints at the Blue Planet, 110 SE 8th, in Topeka. It'll be up for the whole month of October. The work comes from two different series I've been working on over the last couple of years. One is a series of portraits of Kansas politicians gone awry, including...

Secretario De Xenofobia
Inspired by the new Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who is best known as the architect of anti-immigration laws in Arizona. Back here in Kansas, he’s been fanning the flames of immigrant paranoia in legislation that would require proof of citizenship if someone looked “suspicious.”

 The Feral Senator 
Another Kansas original, state senator Virgil Peck who, during a March 14, 2011 senate hearing, said (when referring to a state program to manage feral hogs) that "If shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem." 

 Reject Brownback
After enduring one horror after another, from a draconian tax-cut plan that will cripple the state to the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission,  I came to the conclusion that our governor was powerless to stop the destruction he is wreaking. Like some giant movie monster, he flails around pleading for someone (us) to stop him from doing more damage.

The second series in this show comes from work I've done in support of the Occupy Movement. These prints were used in rallys, protests, and as illustrations related to Occupy. I'm proud to have been a contributor to the Occuprint  group which has been the main venue for getting my posters out to the public. 
My poster as an illustration for a Barbara Kingsolver 
essay in the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
The most widely circulated of these was "Tip of the Iceberg." This was my response to the dismissal by many of Occupy as just a New York thing. It’s based on both a metaphor, that Zuccotti Park is an iceberg, and on a veiled analogy to the Titanic disaster. What’s not spelled out in the image, but helped drive my process, is the story of the Titanic and the hubris that led to its sinking. In early versions, I had a little ship about to hit the Zuccotti iceberg, and even tried out text like “Beware Captains of the 1%”. In the end I felt like I was complicating my main idea – that the movement is much larger than the encampments -  so I took out the Titanic references.


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