art community

The Hold-Up Artist

Working Title: Give Me your Money, ‘cause I can’t sell my work otherwise

This painting was inspired by a conversation I had with a performance artist one day. The general idea was that we, as artists, have a right to ‘expose’ people to our art who would not seek it out themselves. Of course, that comes with the expectation of being paid for our work, although money is evil.
The entitlement mentality reigns supreme!

I think the imagery of the painting expresses my feelings on the subject pretty well. The world owes us nothing for our art. We are not special because of our creative abilities. As with anything else, if there’s a market for a piece of art, it will sell. No government intervention is needed or appropriate. I do not support the NEA.
This piece is a companion to the paintings titled: The Gaping Maw of Entitlement and Mr. Moral Superiority. Completed – 2008

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

How to Exorcise Conservative Thought in an Artist

This painting was inspired by several conversations I have had with other artists. The first reaction I face when describing my work and point of view is shock. Disdain or anger quickly follow. My impression is that I have no right to be conservative and that I am breaking some unspoken law by creating political work from my point of view. I suppose open-mindedness only applies to ideas that conform to the status quo. The next thing that typically happens is that I am quizzed on the minutia of American History facts and dates. Inevitably, I will not know a detail and then I am proven ignorant. This is the point at which I usually learn that the other artist used to be a professor and, therefore has an unfair advantage over me. So much for acceptance of opposing points of view. Or common civility.

I find these conversations inspirational, because they lead to all sorts of wonderful imagery. This painting was executed very quickly and I enjoyed every minute of it. I look forward to doing more work in this style. – 2008

View more art in this series on the Art Community page.

Medium: acrylic and vine charcoal on wood panel

Dimensions: 14w x 26h x 4d

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

How do we #TakeBackOurCulture?

 

Controlling the narrative is vital to influencing our culture, but what does this mean? Does it mean wresting the culture from the progressives’ cold, dead hands and never allowing open discussion again? No, it does not. It means demanding, fighting for, and creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to express their views in the arts and entertainment industries.
Any attempt to completely silence opposing views will only lead to a severe pendulum-swing of public support for the opposition. It is also vital that we resist the urge to be petty and vindictive. This kind of expression may win you points with your peers, but it reflects poorly on our movement in the long term. We are not here to preach to the choir. That is not how minds are changed or how meaningful impact on society is made.

With that idea in mind, how do you get started? Every artist has a different style, different interests, and different preferences for medium. I would suggest that you figure out what you like to work with first. Next, hone your focus. If you try to tackle too many ideas in one piece of art, you will likely end up with something difficult to understand. Decide which ideas or issues are most important to you, then do the research. This is particularly important if you are creating conceptual art or a documentary. Facts are incontrovertible and invaluable. However, your biggest challenge here will come from developing interesting and impactful iconography and/or a story line that interests the viewer. Don’t slap a bunch of statistics and a graph together and call it done. You need to make it interesting as well as informative.

What is MachinePolitick?

My personal work has developed immensely over the last decade that I have been creating intentionally political art. Much of my initial inspiration was based on personal attacks heaped upon me by my peers in the art community who were offended by the idea that anyone creative could be pro-American or Libertarian-minded. I’m sure you have all had some kind of similar experience for expressing conservative views in your own fields. I have been called everything from ignorant to a Nazi. I have been told it would be nice if I just painted something pretty instead of all this angry political work – yet everywhere I go, I see support for progressive, anti-American art, music and movies. These experiences were the main impetus for me becoming a conceptual political artist.
A secondary motivation was the lack of initiative being taken on our side. We seem all fired up and ready to go now, but twelve years ago, openly conservative and libertarian political artists were virtually non-existent. There has always been a lot of noise on our side about how much progressive art sucks, how dishonest and detrimental modern art is, and the open hostility of the art community toward outsiders; but there was very little being done to change the culture publicly, and even less support for those who were taking this task on.
Not being of a mind to play along to get along, I started thinking about how I could inject a political message into my art without having it come across as trite or boring. It took a few years to figure out how to transform facts and research into iconography that would appeal to people. It took somewhat longer to learn how to make the work more subtle, so that it didn’t make people angry at first glance. Though I don’t care all that much whether or not people like may art or take anything away from it, I realize that minds won’t be changed if people walk away angry. I also started to realize that I was learning more about the things I oppose and find offensive by talking to people who had a progressive world-view. You can do research all day long, but it doesn’t help you understand how people feel or how they can justify oppression and redistribution. I realized, one day, that I can’t create in a vaccum, and that I was finding inspiration for art in conversations with people who were often quite hostile.

Making it Pretty

Give-Me-Liberty.jpg

One day my husband told me that he thought people need to be inspired by art, not always hit over the head with an idea. That was the turning point at which I realized I needed to find ways to be more subtle in the larger body of my work, as well as find ways to make art that was beautiful AND meaningful. This was the point at which I developed my Liberty icon and began repeating it in my work. I realized that, as angry as I was at being attacked and ridiculed, that I was missing the point of my own art and ideals about cultural change. So, this is the point at which we begin to discuss the how and why of my art.

Layering

Don't Cry for Me Amerika
Don’t Cry for Me Amerika

I have a propensity for research and an overwhelming compulsion to cram it all into a painting. This is why you will see many layers within my art, often including words. I like to stick the reference material right in the art for you to read, if you’re paying close enough attention to notice it.
This techniques gives a visual complexity to the art and draws the viewer in. It conveys ideas and boring facts quickly, without taking away from the aesthetic of the piece or beating the viewer over the head with an obvious message. Specific words and phrases can be highlighted or obscured to impact the message of the art and insure that the viewer ‘gets it’, even if they don’t realize it.

Iconography

LetThemEatCake

This is a visual tool I have developed and used extensively over the last few years. It is vital for several reasons and likely harkens back to my days at SCAD earning a degree in Illustration. I love to tell a story. I love to stylize and embellish. And I find that this technique broadens my audience considerably. People are not immediately sure what the painting is about, and often, they put their own spin on the meaning of the image. That’s okay, because the underlying message is still there.

This is particularly useful in reaching across the isle to change minds. We have to learn to engage people in ways they can relate to, get them to take us seriously, and most importantly give our views consideration. Iconography conveys messages sub-consciously without eliciting visceral reactions. Subtle elements like words, symbols, phrases, and graphics encourage closer examination and open discourse.
Most importantly, if you develop a strong icon that resonates with people, you have the potential to shift the culture, and ultimately, change it. The repetition of images and ideas reinforces an idea or belief. With repetition comes recognition, and with recognition comes familiarity. Hopefully, this leads to better overall understanding and interest. There’s a fine line between propaganda and marketing, and we’re talking about both here.
Though it takes time and perseverance, people begin to recognize your work. Once that happens you have the potential to reach a far wider audience. If you build a reputation around your work for integrity and consistency of quality and messaging, you will begin to earn support within your community for your work. Once this happens, you should strive to help others get established and lead by example. One of the biggest falsehoods in the art community is the idea that we’re all competing against one another. There is plenty of room for all of us; and the support that conservative and libertarian artists need is growing. The idea that we need to fight over a finite ‘pie’ is self-serving and ultimately detrimental to our movement. If we build associations, find ways to show our work together, and network as a group, we have the potential for a larger impact and return on the quality of our culture.
#TakeBackOurCulture
#IgnoreTheEstablishment
#SupportTheArtYouWant
#BeTheSolution

Interview with Local Journalist, Katie Griffin of The Paper

PaperArticle

Paper Article Cont

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Matt Perdie Interview at Smart Girl Summit 2014 in Atlanta

Thanks to the ladies at Smart Girl, and to Matt Perdie, for the opportunity to discuss Liberatchik’s efforts to #TakeBackTheCulture

 

Smart Girl Politics on YouTube

Smart Girl Action

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Smart Girl Summit 2014

As always, I am in over my head and late to post on current Liberatchik projects. The few weeks since the conference have been a blur of back-to-school shopping, follow-up from the Summit and rushing to meet a deadline for paintings I am donating to an organization that is raising awareness about human trafficking. On top of that, I have local Arts Council projects, an upcoming project for the City of Commerce, a half-empty booth at Our Town Antiques that needs to get ready for Christmas, and a neglected garden. Some days I wonder what possesses me to take on so many things – then the crazy woman in my head reminds me that she doesn’t think I’m doing enough. I’m not posting all this to say ‘hey, look what I’m doing over here’, but more as a reference to those who know me directly and occasionally experience my fits of anxiety and loopy artist behavior.

First, and foremost, I would like to thank the artists who participated in the event by sending donations to help cover the cost of marketing, as well as those who sent artwork. If you haven’t stopped in to see what we have been up to in a while here at Liberatchik, we were exhibitors at SGS14 on August 2, 2014. Please take a moment after reading this article to visit and share our participating artists’ links:

Livia Bota

Rich Gibbs

Kate Barnett

James Byrd

Ursula Fernandez

Daniel Baran

Nancy Lowe

Barb Smith

Ashley Tomashot

Christina Hasigan

Kevin Williams

Christina Butorac

Doris Bond

Michael Prescott

Richard Bledsoe

The conference itself was not only inspiring to attend, but surprising in its genuine goals for grassroots activists and networking opportunities. I cannot begin to express the many ways in which Stacy Mott stood in contrast to people and organizations I have dealt with in the past. I have never met someone so nice and so dedicated to cultivating the success and corroboration of the attendees at a conference. After several grueling experiences with local groups and two frustrating trips to CPAC, the Smart Girl Summit was a welcome example of the way things can be done to generate political and social activism.

Being the anti-social ogre that I am, I arrived early and found what I hoped would be a table where I could sit back and observe the Opening Reception without drawing attention to myself. My partner, Christopher Cook wasn’t there to keep me company or make introductions, so I felt a little out of my league. I was there to display the artwork on Saturday, after all, and not sure how to make contacts based on past experiences at such things. Shortly after I settled on a roost, Stacy walked in and she was having none of it. She promptly took me under her wing and set off across the room to make introductions and park me at a table of vibrant ladies, whom I now consider to be great friends. In fact, I ended up staying on much longer than expected after the event to hang out and eat dinner with these ladies.

 

Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since our keynote speaker for the reception, Rep. Tom Price, was entrenched in the amnesty battle going on in DC, he was unable to attend the reception and it quickly turned into an impromptu networking/social event. No need to let an opportunity go to waste!

Amy Kremer was asked to step up and give some brief comments to kick off the summit, in which she touched on the need for a cultural as well as political approach to restoring the American Republic. I couldn’t agree more, so I handed her a Liberatchik Artist Directory and let her know I will be getting in touch with her to discuss what she has in mind and how we can collaborate. I’m hoping to follow up on that opportunity next week.

Saturday was the main day of the event, and I was there early with one of our Photographers, Livia Bota, to set up the exhibition space for Liberatchik. One thing I have learned about showing art in informal settings is that there is never enough time, never enough space, and I will always forget something I need event though I couldn’t possibly fit another thing in the car. All of that aside, I think our booth looked pretty good. This, my friends, is the face of Art for Liberty:

 

SGS14 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were directly across from the FreedomWorks booth, so I had the opportunity to spend the day talking to Iris Somberg about culture and libertarian principles when we had free time. She was very enthusiastic and had wonderful suggestions for things we can do to grow and generate support for Liberatchik. I am looking forward to following up with her and writing more about that in the future. I also picked up a copy of Matt Kibbe’s Libertarian Manifesto and am working my way through it now. I will post a review as soon as I finish.

Kibbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out that I had very little time to hang out with Iris, because the Liberatchik booth generated so much interest in our artwork. I was surprised by the level of interest and enthusiasm for our art, and even more so, by sales of some of the pieces at our booth. The day flew by, and I didn’t have a chance to attend any of the panels or speeches, but I could here Herman Cain’s booming voice as he gave the keynote address; as well as the enthusiastic response of the attendees. One thing is certain, people were there to make a difference, and I am confident many of them are working on their own goals as we speak.

In closing, I would like to thank the following people for their support and generosity during the event: Stacy Mott, Teri Christoph, Tami Nantz, Rosa Leonetti, Sandy Chiong, Victoria Casares, and Candi Goldman – Smart Girls Rock!

** Some of them also went home with Art for Liberty!

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Liberty as a Human Rights Icon

As another Memorial Day approaches, I find myself dwelling more and more on the concept of personal Liberty. Of course this ideal is forefront on a daily basis for those of us concerned with the ever-intrusive nature of our government. But, how many of us are thinking about Liberty in terms of its cultural significance?

CPACFront2

Defend Liberty Border Contact

Activism materials for Liberatchik.com

The left has a plethora of symbols from the iconic Che photo, the clenched fist and the Anonymous/OWS graphics, the Coexist icons to the peace sign. The right gravitates primarily to the American or Gadsden flags and American eagle as icons. These symbols are great for patriotic themes, but are easily demagogued, primarily because we have allowed them to be defined by the Left, as nationalist and politically devisive symbols.

Liberty as a Human Rights Icon

For those of us trying to inject a libertarian or conservative view into American culture, Liberty is an under-utilized icon for positive representation of individualism and human rights in the fine art community. The left is not only tearing down  national symbols like the American flag, they are also working to tear down icons of personal Liberty through cultural means:

LibertyStreetArt

Street art by unknown artist in L.A.

The tired labels the Left attributes to all views other than their own do not apply to the concept of liberty. As the street art above clearly indicates, they will still find ways to demagogue anything representative of the individual. This is because, Leftism/Statism is at its core, an ideology based on the use of force. If one advocates for the use of force, it becomes necessary to denigrate and demonize the individual. The Left has been doing this for generations with little or no cultural counterbalance from the Right.  That is why it is crucial for those of us creating a cultural alternative to not only develop the symbol of Liberty as an icon for the individual, but as an icon for human rights – another concept we have long ceded to the left. We need only produce good works of art that are capable of injecting this concept into popular culture.

Liberty has the potential to become a universal as well as national icon; for individual Liberty is, at its core, a human right.

Give Me Liberty..

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, by Frances Byrd

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Alinsky, Social Justice and a Cultural Revolution

#TheRevolutionaryHaloOfSocialJustice
The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice

 

… to the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals 1971

 

Alinsky’s dedication at the beginning of Rules for Radicals is telling of his personal morality and ultimate goals. Those who blindly follow the current purveyors of his philosophy, within our government, higher learning institutions and social organizations, would do well to examine his/their true motives and the consequences of following in the footsteps of a man who would pay homage to the ideological embodiment of evil.

 

Developing Iconography

 

There is no need to put words in Alinsky’s mouth or take his ideas out of context. There is no need to spin his philosophy like some two-bit mainstream journalist. Alinsky’s words speak clearly for him and his intent in all their wretched meaning. For this reason, several of his quotes were utilized in the under-painting for The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice.

This painting is part of an ongoing series based upon stylized American Crow iconography I am developing. Though the series started out as an illustration of the OWS movement, it quickly grew to encompass progressive thought in general as well as the societal and individual consequences of its implementation.

 

(Social)Justice is an allegorical portrait of Saul Alinsky, one of the most influential progressives in American history. In Rules for Radicals, he laid the groundwork and strategy for an all encompassing transformation of American thought and culture across institutional, economic and social boundaries. This painting attempts to capture the essence of those ideas.

 

The Progressive Tactic of Fomenting Despair

 

Early in the book, Alinsky quotes Dostoyevsky: “… Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future…”

 

Do you see a connection between these ideas and the current events sweeping America today? This quote by Dostoyevsky, as used by Alinsky, points to an agenda that encourages people to disregard the historic failures and precedents of statist ideology and its implementations across the globe. It encourages one to turn a blind eye to the deliberate destruction and loss of life at the hands of an elitist few. It then calls for a blind faith in the motives and power of that elite few rather than in individual responsibility and participatory self-governance.

 

The Common Good

 

The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people”.

 

With this quote, we start to see how the progressive movement started to change the people’s knowledge of America as a representational republic, to a belief in America as a democracy. This is based on an agenda of steering the populace toward support of mob rule, which devolves into tyranny and a dependence on the state for structure and support. The old saw goes: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people begin to take it as truth”. Like the raucous caw of a crow, the populist mantra silences the voice of reason.

What is the goal of this redefinition of terms and intentional deception? First, it is anti-individual and purposefully vague in order to allow the elitist controlling class to redefine terms of duty and sacrifice as being for the common good. It softens the populace to the idea of redistribution of goods and services based on impact toward the common good. And, the very vagueness of the idea, gives those in control the ability to change course and redefine these very terms as needed.

 

People will rally behind the ideas of freedom and justice, even when they are denied these institutions themselves. The challenge and the power come in presenting an agenda in a way that appeals to the emotions first; to make people feel disenfranchised, victimized and entitled to compensation. Once this is achieved, it is a small step to organize them into an activist mob disinterested in the moral implications of their actions.

In fact, Alinsky goes so far as to consider moral concerns a bourgeois affectation; impracticable in the real world. His approach builds on Hobbes’ belief that men are essentially savages in a brutish world. But, rather than merely suggest that a leviathan state is the only method with which to control the vagaries of barbarism, he encourages his followers to take advantage of their collective barbarity at the expense of society.

Quotes in the Painting

I have incorporated some pop culture references and direct quotes from Rules for Radicals in the under-painting. Upon closer examination, the more relevant portions show through, inviting the viewer to step up and examine the painting closely. Of course, the crow stands alone as a piece of art, so it is not particularly relevant for you to know what it means. What it does is engage you directly as a means to open dialogue on the subject portrayed in the painting. The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice is intended to inspire a closer examination of Mr. Alinsky’s model for social destruction and reformation. I leave you, for now, with some quotes from the under-painting.

“Some men can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred, The Dark Knight 2008

“…if one lacks the luxury of a choice and is possessed of only one means, then the ethical question will never arise…” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals 1971

“To me, ethics is doing what is best for the most”. – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals 1971

 

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes.Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood. Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

 

Editorial Cartoonist Portrays Ted Cruz as a Clown

Using Art to Push an Agenda 101

While clipping news articles for some upcoming mixed media projects, I came across this cartoon:

CruzClown

You and I may find it absurd; but we are not the target audience.

This cartoon is from the Athens Banner Herald in Georgia (hometown to the University of Georgia). As one might guess, Athens is your average college town; primarily liberal in mindset. Athens is also closely surrounded by a smattering of small suburbs and low-income areas before reverting to its rural/agrarian heritage, where people think of Athens in terms of football and ag programs – and little else.

Ironically, it is know-it-all college kids on their high horses of progressive indoctrination who will be among those most surprised, and directly effected, by the gargantuan health care law’s implementation. The average estimate projects that young Americans will see a 260% increase in premiums under the ACA, even though those same young Americans voted for democrats and a president, in part, to push this law through on the rest of us.

To be fair, some of the low-income voters and farmers in the area may have thought the bill a good idea as well, before it was passed so they could see what was in it. Perhaps they were under the impression that some evil rich guy would be paying for their healthcare henceforth and all their worries would come to an end. What a nasty surprise all of these unintended consequences must be for them.

So, why then, do we have a local paper bothering to print a cartoon ridiculing Cruz for his opposition to the ACA? If the Herald is preaching to the choir, what’s the point?

The point is, many in the choir have changed their tune, and their song has become discordant. Some people, who were perfectly happy to ignore the consequences for the rest of us as long as they thought they would be exempt, have woken up. Unfortunately for them, they have awakened to the reality of government mandated healthcare.

 

Rules for Radicals, or Those Merely Pretending to Be

 

So, amidst all of the policy debates and emotional bickering, what is the significance of one cartoon? We must defer to the wisdom(evil) of Saul Alinsky for understanding on these points.

 

First, it is designed to ridicule a Senator for doing his job: defending the constitution, as well as, the rights and concerns of his constituents. As I have explained in several previous articles, progressives use derision and character assassination to destroy the credibility of their opposition. True or not, fair or not, this tactic works. Once you consider a Senator a clown, are you really going to listen to anything he has to say?

 

For Progressives, and some GOP establishment cronies, it is enough to call Cruz a clown and consider the discussion over. That’s fine if you’re exempt from the law you passed in the first place; but what about the rest of us? For those of us who are not receiving exemptions or subsidies, the ACA is a question of constitutionality and economic impact… whatever the Supreme Court may say to the contrary. (For a more lengthy explanation of these points, I refer you to the Federalist Papers and Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments).

 

Secondly, this cartoon is a perfect example of how progressives use culture, however insignificant, to push their agendas. You may pass a mere cartoon off as inconsequential if you even notice it at all. You may not consider it art and wonder the point I am making.

A cartoon may not be fine art, but it does have cultural significance – even more so based on its ability to reach a broader range of viewers through mass publication. Is it likely to change the minds of people like me who support Cruz? No. But it may plant a seed of doubt in the minds of people on the fence about the law. It will certainly bolster the resolve of the law’s supporters, justifying their subsequent reactions to and treatment of those in opposition.

 

Did you notice the Freudian slip and the irony contained within this cartoon? Uncle Sam is ill, but his cure won’t come from big government intrusion in the lives of its citizens. Besides, he’s old. It’s likely he’s not eligible for anything beyond end of life counseling and painkillers – while there’s still funding for such things.

 

Where’s the Conservative Alternative?

While some members of congress and the conservative media are taking a stand, where is the conservative art community on this issue? You wouldn’t know outside of Ramirez’s and Branco’scartoons because very few are giving a cultural approach a second thought on our side. Nobody with any mass influence, anyway. (That’s a subject for a future article of some length.)

Once again, our side is turning its back on one of the most influential and readily available means to effect policy debate in America. The results for our future are both disastrous and predictable.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice

 

**This article is a lead in to the piece I am currently writing. I finished the painting about a month ago, but as always, I am dreadfully behind on promoting myself. Here is a collection of thoughts as I was writing the piece. I will post the completed article soon.**

Rules for Radicals…

This painting is a conceptual portrait of Saul Alinsky’s political philosophy as described in Rules for Radicals. It is a glimpse into the motivations and strategies of one of the masterminds of the modern progressive movement. Those of you who are not yet familiar with the back story on my American Crow Series can learn more here.

 The American Crow…

Like other paintings in the series, it is a conceptual portrait of the subject as they are; drawing parallels to the less savory nature of the crow. In this series, I am developing iconography to represent the progressive movement, their goals, and their tactics. Their means to an end are often unpleasant and go so far as to infringe on the human rights and civil liberties of the very people they are purporting to help. Consider this a revelation, through cultural means, of the true intent of the progressive movement.

As noted, this particular piece focuses on the teachings of Saul Alinsky. I have incorporated some pop culture references and direct quotes from Rules for Radicals in the under-painting. Upon close examination, the more relevant portions show through, inviting the viewer to step up and examine the painting more closely. Of course, the crow stands alone as a piece of art, so it is not particularly relevant for you to know what it means.

Quotes…

I leave you, for now, with the quotes from the under-painting. The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice will appear in my next article as accompaniment to a closer examination of Mr. Alinsky’s model for social destruction and reformation.

 “Some men can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred, The Dark Knight 2008

 “…if one lacks the luxury of a choice and is possessed of only one means, then the ethical question will never arise…” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals 1971

 “To me, ethics is doing what is best for the most”. – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals 1971

 

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Solution to Public Funding #1: Private Patronage

A discussion about getting the government out of the business of funding the arts is only half of the issue. There needs to be an honest and civil discussion about alternative funding solutions. As conservatives and libertarians, we should be able to grasp this concept fairly easily. Here is a short list of the issues I often run up against in the discussion of funding art and suggestions for solutions.

 

Patronage is not Welfare.

Because the creative elite have pushed for a liberal slant in the arts for so long, and so many artists have gotten by on a hand-out from the NEA rather than market based factors, conservatives have come to equate any discussion of art funding with welfare. One can hardly blame them when it is obvious that many of the artists receiving grants produce work that cannot stand on its own merits.

It is time to discuss private patronage. If you want to control the direction our culture takes, seek out and purchase work by artists and entertainers you like or who share your ideology. Take direct action and become part of the solution rather than wasting time complaining about the problem.

Changing the system from within does not seem possible. Building an opposing program with the expected out-lash from the establishment won’t be easy. Therefore, we must immediately build patronage for the art we want. Sharing work you find appealing is crucial to building support for cultural change.

 

Boycotts and Buycotts work .

Boycotts are not about running someone out of business. They are the means to achieve a social end. Boycotts make a public statement about a particular issue and rally people who share your views behind a cause. Instead of complaining about the liberal artists who offend you, ignore them. The worst thing you can do is post images and links to their work as an example of what is wrong with our culture. This just sends people off to their web pages and directs traffic away from artists on our side who need our support. It is a wasted effort, because it directs attention away from good art and entertainment .

Buycotts are also a successful means to achieve social ends. Look at the media publicity and boost in sales at Chik-fil-A as an example. There is no reason why we cannot translate this sort of publicity and cooperation into a support structure for conservative culture. There is no better way to fight the liberal bias in art and entertainment than to promote conservative alternatives.

 

Support networks among artists and patrons are key.

This does not have to be an organized or established effort, though pooling our resources will make this effort more successful. Seek out, support and share information and links between artists and potential patrons. There are many conservative and classically trained and oriented art groups out there. Liberatchik and Big Dawg Music Mafia are the ones I have connections with, but I also encourage you to seek out others.

 

 

Understanding the bigger picture.

Though there need to be free market, incentive-based solutions to building and promoting a cultural scene worthy of patronage, we must also accept the need to work outside the current system to support, not just conservative artists, but good classically-trained artists.

 

We need to understand that the NEA is not a purely economic crutch for artists. It is also the pinnacle of an elitist and exclusionary culture that determines what kind of art the public is exposed to. We must develop networks to showcase and promote art that is good as well as art by known conservative artists. This is not a rallying cry to steer the arts in the opposite extreme where liberals are excluded on principle.

Yes, I say seek out ad promote conservative artists, but not to the exclusion of good art. The ideology is only half the message. There also needs to be a return to quality aesthetics and merit-based criteria when discussing art. A good ole boys’ club of conservative ideology at the expense of the quality of the art is not the solution.

 

In summary, take action, take control and become part of the solution.

Where is John Galt ? #1Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Big Hollywood and BlogBytes. Her art and writing can also be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Punk Rock Didn’t Need Our Money, Nor Should Other Artists

 

My third article is up at Big Hollywood and there is a rather lively discussion going, with issues from both sides of the political spectrum popping up. I hope you will take a minute to read and participate in the discussion.

Public funding of the arts has propped up a culture of elitism and mediocrity for too long. It is time for a change.

I can already hear the collective gasp of the art community. “How dare you suggest the era of publicly-funded art come to an end?”

It’s actually quite simple. Public art funding has been the crutch for hangers-on and entitled elitists for generations. It is time they stand on their own merit and answer to those from whom their handout has been taken. It is not acceptable to expect families with children to feed to contribute to the career of some distant artist whose work they may not even like, or ever see for that matter. Even staunch advocates for public funding of the arts have asked themselves how arguing for public funding gets anywhere when the argument seems so self-serving. …

Read the full article here, then share and comment, please.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Big Hollywood and BlogBytes. Her art and writing can also be viewed at MachinePolitick.