Just Art 2010
Art is a powerful tool that can introduce and encourage a deeper exploration of our civil rights. Through mediums unique to each issue, this exhibit challenges the audience to grapple with its opinions of our individual and communal relationships with censorship, surveillance, immigration and reproductive rights. The 21 participating artists were divided among four segments of the show: street art, photography, figurative work, and abstract painting.
Censorship is part of the creative process for urban artists who deal with the limitations and consequences of putting up illegal murals on city walls in the dead of night. These street art pieces, whether graffiti, stencils or wheat pastes, comment on the private and governmental censorship that limits how and where art, literature and information can be displayed and distributed.
A photograph tells a hundred tales, but a surveillance camera destroys all rights to privacy as quickly as you can slip into that S&M bar. The difference between these lenses is in the use of the information they collect; and such use is at the core of the NYCLU’s concern over the 300,000+ cameras that film almost every public space in New York City. Who better to explore the interplay between privacy and surveillance than photographers who create unique visions of our world from behind their camera lenses.
In 2010, more than 60,000 individuals are imprisoned in New York state alone for no more than immigration infractions. They have no right to contact their families, no right to an attorney, and no defensible charges entered against them. The ethnic characters depicted in the varied figurative works bring viewers in close relationship with these powerless individuals who are lost between the blurry lines of America’s War On Terror.
Abstract art is too often dismissed as standing without meaning. What is forgotten is the visceral experience subtly inflicted upon the viewer. The circular forms present in these resin and poured works cause each viewer to stand in fear at the thought of a woman’s right to abortion steadily being eroded by the US Supreme Court.
Taking in this exhibit results in a better educated audience that feels, thinks and discusses these important rights that limit our daily lives.