Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art Is Torture

Art Is Torture

The stigma of the tortured artist has been one that has been around for ages. Vincent lobbed off his ear (for a woman, not a piece) and then there's the idea of the starving artist. Though that has more to do with the fact that we're not paid. I used to be an artist. I stopped when I was tired of top ramen for dinner. Yes, it's selling out. I know. Guess what, everyone does eventually.

Chris Johnson shows us a different example of the whole tortured artist. In that he's using torture in his piece. Ah yes, the art of.... war?

Constitution, 2008
8 x 25 feet in five panels
Depicts 83,000 Abu Ghraib prisoner photographs, equal to the number of people who have been arrested and held at US-run detention facilities with no trial or other due process of law, during the Bush Administration's war on terror.
zoomed out:

zoomed in:

Prison Uniforms, 2007
10x23 feet in six vertical panels

Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.
zoomed out:

zoomed in:

Installed at the Von Lintel Gallery, NY, June 2007:

artist is Chris Johnson, lots more here

But if you're not one to wander the halls of any art exhibit, perhaps you should. You'll never know what sort of wonders you'll find and what new view on the world around you that will find you if you don't bother looking.

Here's a couple of samples of various art pieces. See if any of them strike anything to your mind.

We make a lot of trash

Deep man

In honor of Sam Jackson signing a 9 picture deal to play Nick Fury


Yup. Pretty much amazing right here.

How Meta

Then again, not all art is perfect. With Ash Wednesday giving us the countdown till Easter we have this piece that is simply saying that there will be No Easter Egg Hunt At the White House This Year

(AP) The mayor of Los Alamitos is coming under fire for an e-mail he sent out that depicts the White House lawn planted with watermelons, under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

Local businesswoman and city volunteer Keyanus Price, who is black, said Tuesday she received the e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose's personal account on Sunday and wants a public apology.

"I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes," Price told The Associated Press. "I honestly don't even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin'-mayor - come on."

The Orange County Register first reported the e-mail on its Web site Tuesday night.

Grose confirmed to the AP that he sent the e-mail to Price and said he didn't mean to offend her. He said he was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons.

He said he and Price are friends and serve together on a community youth board.

"Bottom line is, we laugh at things and I didn't see this in the same light that she did," Grose told the AP. "I'm sorry. It wasn't sent to offend her personally - or anyone - from the standpoint of the African-American race."

Grose, who became mayor in December, said he sent an apology e-mail to Price and her boss and also left her a voicemail apology.

Regardless, Price said it will be difficult for the two to work together.

"Now I am like - wow, is this really how he feels?" Price said.

Los Alamitos is a 2¼-square-mile Orange County city of around 12,000 people. The mayor is elected by fellow members of the five-seat City
How long is this excuse supposed to work? Am I going to get apologies from racists in the year 2070 saying "Sorry We didn't know Chicken/Watermelons/Blackface was actually racist!" What possible alternate meaning could the picture have? It's either racist or nonsensical.

So you see that ART is indeed Torture. For those who have to create it to those who have to bullshit some excuse as to why they just offended a lot of people. May you never be an artist. It's a tough cross to carry.

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