Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Guest Artist Art Hazelwood, Guest Commentator Julie Bryant

Click on image to enlarge.
War Machine © Art Hazelwood 2005, Screen print, 11” x 14”

NEW!!! Just in from Art Hazelwood:
"I have created a three foot square linoleum block to be printed by a steamroller at this event. It should be a good time."


The San Francisco Center for the Book (SFCB) hosts its third annual block party, Roadworks: Steamroller Prints on Saturday, September 16, 2006 at DeHaro between 16th and 17th Streets, 10:00am-4:00pm. This free event brings artists and the community together to create unique large linocut prints that are inked and pressed by a two ton steamroller. The original prints will be auctioned at the Center's 10th Anniversary dinner on Friday, September 29th at Bistro 350.

My sister-in-law, internet activist, Julie Bryant writes:

A few nights ago my husband and I were watching a History Channel program on the “secret” structural achievements necessitated by WWII – underground command posts, bomb shelters and the like. For the first time I saw old film clips of the Blitz, the greatest air battle between the British and the invading German aircraft. The heroism of the British airmen was astonishing to watch. This liberal democrat was deeply touched by the nobility of this conflict, which was a necessary response to Hitler’s ambitions. I ached to see those young men race to their airplanes, knowing so many were to die. It seems so obvious to me that a nation should never spill the blood of her citizens for any lesser reason than a response to a real threat. To do so is to betray the trust of the citizenry, to needlessly waste the lives of our people, and finally, to visit unthinkable horrors upon the innocent people known as “collateral damage”.

Click on image to enlarge.
Trouble For Uncle Sam in The Green Zone © Art Hazelwood 2005, woodcut, 120” x 34”

Bryant continues,
As I watched film of the random bombings that paralyzed London during WWII, my mind failed to comprehend once again the mentality that desires to reduce an entire city to rubble, to bring it to its knees. I have seen such images before, but during these times they have special resonance. Once again, in such a visceral way, I wondered – what is the difference between German planes bombing London and American planes bombing Baghdad and Fallujah? Why do our heroic troops rain death and destruction upon the huddled families in ruined, bleeding Iraq? And finally, what does all this say about a nation once regarded as heroic?

Click on image to enlarge.
Voila The Enemy! © Art Hazelwood 2005, color linocut, 24” x 18”

Art Hazelwood is a premier printmaker who's been creating powerful political art for decades. Hazelwood expounds upon the importance of free individuals creating art with political messages and why we must do so with our last breath if necessary,
As important as it is to make political art and to look at political art. The really important thing is that we are effective and that we don’t give up in this fight. To argue over the validity of political art now is an irrelevant argument. We can sort that out when the need isn’t so pressing.

I’ve been enraged by the Bush Administration and its policies, specifically the Iraq War, but in general the ideology of the Bush doctrine of “good and evil”, “us and them”, “with us or against us.” But how do you oppose this simplistic idea of good and evil without falling into the same mental trap. The world is more complicated. Life is more complicated, and art is more complicated.

You can’t oppose that smug, ironic, detached and disconnected worldview that is the Bush administration with a smug, ironic, detached and disconnected cultural movement. What is needed is an engaged culture. An engaged populace. Not engaged through fear, but engaged through passion. Rhode Island Panel Speech

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