Tag: political art

I'm BZTAT and I approved this message.

Barack Obama 2012 poster art by BZTAT
Digital Art by BZTAT

I do not often share about my political leanings in this space, as I have patrons and followers who come from various perspectives, and I want to respect them all. Usually my art is about non-political themes, so it makes sense to avoid an area that could be unnecessarily discomfiting for some.

I cannot deny, however, that politics are important to me as a person, and thus important to my creative efforts. Following the directions of my country and my world are a big part of who I am.

I hope you will indulge me this one post as I reveal a bit about my thoughts on the leadership of my country and the culture that drives my creativity.

I care deeply about my world. I have dedicated the majority of my career to a social service occupation (20 years as a clinical counselor). My artwork often takes on a service role in my community, as well.

I like being a part of making my world and my community a better place.

I want to see that the injustices and struggles facing people today are not there for those of future generations, and I want to use my creativity to empower people to look positively towards their future.

It is my belief that Barack Obama offers the most tangible strategies to meet that vision. His ideas and policies regarding the economy, foreign affairs, women’s rights, marriage equality for gays and lesbians, the environment, the arts, and many other issues reflect our best hope.

Barack Obama has also proven himself to be a steady and calm leader that has regained respect for our country around the world after a bruising 8 years from the Bush administration.

And regardless of party, I could never vote for a man who abused an animal, and the admitted roof-racking of the Romney dog Seamus is abuse in my book.

I made the image above back in 2008.   Those were more idealistic days, but I am still a believer.

I voted yesterday to give Barack Obama 4 more years by voting early at my local Board of Elections. I did so with pride.

If you do not agree with me, that is fine. I am not looking for a fight or a debate. I just felt the need to share my thoughts, so those who enjoy my art can know what drives me and how I arrive at my conclusions.

Regardless of if you agree or disagree, I hope that you will vote, and vote early if you can. Voting makes you a part of the process, which is one of the greatest things about being an American.

I am a believer not only in my candidate, but also in my country. Exercise your right to vote and put your own belief into action.

Uncensored: A look at the darker side of my artwork

Uncensored poster

I am most known for my brightly colored animal paintings that tend to be whimsical and very upbeat. There is another side to my artwork, however, that totally surprises people who are accustomed only to the more cheery side.

I have also created collages and assemblages that take a much more serious tone. They are expressive and make an attempt to put form to ideas, concerns and sometimes feeling of distress.

My sister calls them my “bad mood paintings” as the subject matter is not pleasant and my color choices are discordant.

Some are very personal. Some address serious issues facing our society.

I don’t always share them with a broad public, because they can stir debate and controversy that conflicts with the “brand” I have developed around my pet themed work. I do bring them out, however, when a proper context for them presents itself.

The “Uncensored” juried exhibit at Anderson Creative Gallery is one such context.

The show commemorates National Anti-Censorship Month and purposefully courts controversy, seeking to show pieces that both provoke and explore themes that are unsettling.

I had two pieces selected for the show. The pices are shown below with words are from the Artist Statement I wrote to accompany the pieces.

The colors are dark and graphic; the subject matter painful and challenging; the words reflect a time in our history where ignorance and hubris prevailed to the detriment of soldiers and innocent civilians around the world.

These  collage/assemblage pieces are perhaps the most expressive pieces I have ever made, and the most graphic in their depiction of how I was affected by current events at the time.

Game of the Century
"Game of the Century" Mixed Media Assemblage by BZTAT

“Game of the Century” puts a visual form to the lyrics of the song “Our Deliverance” by Emily Saliers, reflecting how power brokers make decisions about soldiers’ lives in the same way that a football coach maps out plays on a chalkboard.

Government Whitewash
"Government Whitewash" Mixed Media Assemblage by BZTAT

“Government Whitewash” is perhaps the ugliest artwork that I have ever created. That is because it is about the ugliest thing I have ever witnessed.

Listening to United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff’s words in an NPR interview on September 1, 2005, in which he showed he was either oblivious to or in denial about the needs of people affected by Katrina, inspired this piece. I made every attempt to graphically illustrate the destruction of Katrina and the horror of the people caught in its aftermath, including the mud, broken glass, trash, and images of traumatized people in the background.

Some people look at these artworks and say, “Wow! Why is she painting cats?” Others may disagree with the political content or the visual form and be glad that I generally paint more pleasant themes.

Both, however, are a part of who I am as a person and as an artist. Both styles are reflective of my creative impulse, and both present artistic challenges for me.

I cannot do one without the other.

“Uncensored” will be on display October 1-31, 2010 at Anderson Creative, 331 Cleveland Ave., NW, Canton, OH.