I am proud to announce that I will be part of an upcoming public art project in downtown Gainesville, Georgia. My painting, The Revolutionary Halo of (Social) Justice was chosen from submissions by local artists.
I will make further announcements once a location is chosen and the unveiling date is set.
Free Range Art Project
Vision 2030, in partnership with the Quinlan Visual Arts Center and the North Georgia Community Foundation, will be creating Free Range Art Project “murals” which will involve reproducing two dimensional works on an 8-foot by 8-foot scale durable, fade-resistant marine grade board. There will be 10 pieces in total selected on a rotating basis for the purpose of temporary installation in a public area in Gainesville/Hall County.
Five (5) will be installed in 2015, and five (5) in 2016. These interchangeable pieces will be on view for approximately three (3) years. Artists will be identified on location in all promotional materials for the project. Sites and piece selections will be determined by the Public Art Committee of Vision 2030.
Wish me luck. I have submitted one of my crows for a local mural project. I will post more info if I am accepted.
The Free Range Art Project
Submission for Frances Byrd; firstname.lastname@example.org
Frances Byrd is a fine artist and freelance illustrator. She earned a BFA from the Savannah College of Art in Design for Illustration, has worked for an ad agency devoted to film marketing, and manages several projects online independently, as well as for other artists. Frances is currently serving on the board of the Jackson County Arts Council and is an active member in the planning and organization of the annual Folk to Fine Arts Festival in Commerce, Georgia.
Frances’ personal art tends toward the larger scale, with an emphasis on story-telling and icon development. She tackles a wide range of subjects, including current events and social issues. Most recently, she has made connections within the community with organizations combating human trafficking, including programs to rehabilitate and educate the victims. Frances makes an annual donation of art to a fund-raising event in Hall County called Take Aim at Human Trafficking.
Statement on the Art
The painting, The Revolutionary Halo of (Social) Justice, is part of an ongoing series of works designed to develop iconography based on the American Crow. This piece specifically questions the beliefs thrust upon us by society and community leaders for manipulative purposes. The striking profile of the crow and the painstaking rendering of the image combine to draw the viewer in to examine the subtlety of color and texture within the painting. Words within the underpainting peak through to invite closer examination of the work. The concept behind this series is to teach the individual to take control of the information they absorb and form educated opinions about their lives and society.
I am currently in the process of producing small works for the upcoming Folk to Fine Arts Festival in Commerce, Georgia March 7-9. Please check back with this post periodically to see new work that will be for sale at my booth. For now, here is a collection of paintings and merchandise I plan to have available.
“… 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.
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
The Grapes of Wrath is the second painting in my series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the blog post, American Crow #1, I gave a little background on the movement as accompaniment to the first painting in this series. After many hours of reading articles and statements on the OWS web pages and related MSM articles, one thing stands out among the cacophony of demands – the idea that the world owes them something simply because they demand it be given them. This is the embodiment of the entitlement culture we have allowed to take hold in our nation. While politicians and elitists are most to blame for this development, we must also take responsibility for our own complacency. It is time to take a stand before our future is picked clean by these scavengers and rogues.
In this second painting from the series, I chose to draw an analogy to the Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck, to illustrate the natural outcome of irresponsible behavior and refusal to demand accountability of those who have created a system that preys on ignorance and envy. There is a lesson here for us in the way that history tends to repeat itself when people allow themselves to forget the past.The Great Depression was not an unavoidable tragedy and the government did not lift us up from the brink despair. Because this is not an historical essay I will leave it to the reader to educate themselves on the subject of the Great Depression and return to the topics of culture and propaganda more relevant to the art being discussed.
Like the Joad family in the novel, the OWS movement has set off for better opportunity and the fleeting promise of an easier life. In many cases, they are people who have become disillusioned by circumstances beyond their own control. The similarities quickly fall away however, in all but the reality that awaits them – that the government, it’s minions and those who have established themselves in the pecking order are in control and the needs of the people are not their ultimate goal. I would wager the OWS movement’s realization of their position as pawns is a long time, if ever, in coming. It is not by accident that they view themselves as victims.
About the Painting
The Grapes of Wrath
acrylic, tempera, oil, and glitter on gessoed wood panel
The Grapes of Wrath is the second painting in an ongoing series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. As discussed in previous articles, the crow is being developed as a symbol of envy, ignorance and thinly veiled violence in pursuit of an entitlement culture devoid of accountability and personal responsibility. The crow and the movement are scavengers on the droppings of the elites and harbingers of a future where our culture has been destroyed and replaced by dependence upon a corrupt establishment.
As the gluttonous dancing crow celebrates his ravages upon the grapes of his neighbors’ labor in the foreground of the painting, the world burns in the background. The flames are not evident yet, but the ruddy glow has discolored the storm-clouds that are building on the horizon. And, like the crow, the OWS movement is focused only on the short-term and immediate gratification of consuming something that they have not built with their own efforts.