Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sekou Sundiata and Shephard Fairey

thinking about how some artists in being true to their ideas of what art is and should be will challenge corporate ideologies and law and attitudes of the mainstream...sometimes what they do is unlawful or appears so until others who share their beliefs redefine (sometimes through the legal process) what is acceptable and then the change they've ushered in becomes mainstream and a new wave of radicals, outlaws, activists enter the scene once again...ahhhh, the fluidity of history.

I've had the sticker of Obama's image created by Shephard Fairey on the back of my truck since last summer.  Since recent news of the copyright controversy, I've been more interested in understanding why behind his graphic art and if I'm correct, based on what I've read, I'm in agreement with his stance that mega-corporate entities should not always have the last word in defining our laws and culture.  And I think extreme abuses have occured under corporations defining thems as WE the people for an entire nation and world and trumping the rights of people/individuals.  And it does concern me that inviduals will often times place their identities and opinions as if they are or will be or wanna be included in the philosophies and definitions of a nation ruled by corporate culture.  In this, I'm reminded of a segment from Ishmael Reed's novel, Terrible Twos, where Macy's Department store has the copyright on Santa Claus and there are arrests happening all over New York City of radical Santa Clauses...hehehehe...I dunno, I just can't imagine Amira Baraka or Allen Ginsberg not writing with the intent to provoke or challenge commonly held beliefs.  Maybe for contemporary textile artists who are unknowingly steeped in the "idealism" of sweet, civil, sharing women around the quilt frame, Fairey's guerilla tactics with his graphic style is enough to make the stitches become undone. 

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