Wednesday, May 23, 2007

About the "I" Word.

Impeach the Beast © 2007 Art Hazelwood color screenprint, printed on Stonehenge paper, 24" x 18" image size, 30" x 22" paper size, edition of 25. $150 each will offset the cost of printing and shipping the black & white edition. Help Art spread the word far and wide. Click HERE to order this small-edition, remarkable artist's print.

Printmaker Art Hazelwood has been a political artist for decades. How he keeps his resolve, in the face of so much political corruption, is a mystery I wish I knew the answer to. It's tough to do this kind of work. The subject matter, while always relevant, powerful, and honest, isn't always desired by the art-buying public. It takes a brave human to make truthful art, and another brave human to be willing to look upon it fully, fearlessly, and support it. Artists who feel compelled to make work about the times they live in are often doing what they believe is their civic and cultural duty.
Over the last several years I’ve talked to lots of people about political art and there has been a gradual shift. Before the Iraq war there seemed to be an attitude that political art was out of date or people had a general hostility towards it. But recently I’ve noticed a shift in people’s attitudes. People I have talked to are changing their minds. There are still the purists who believe that any concession will debase the temple of art, but their voice, once supreme in the art world is now growing weaker. And it is obvious why. Political art might always have a place but in a time of war, and in a time of a rising police state political art becomes a necessity.
- Art Hazelwood

Whatever a person's talents, there comes a time when they feel they must DO something to change the world, to make it better, happier, and safer. It's an extra challenge to do that if art is your talent, because in America art is generally misunderstood, viewed with suspicion and sometimes even feared. None of us choose our gifts, whether they're accidents of DNA or the hand of some unseen "god" it's an insult to those who don't have it, not to use our gift.

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 populous. Not engaged through fear, but engaged through passion. - Art Hazelwood

If your talent utilizes creative tools, if you're an artist, singer, poet, actor, think if there's a way you too can use your gift to make the world better. The world needs us, fellow transmuters of truth. For without facing the truth of where our democracy, our country, our community is right now, we won't be able to change it. From truth comes hope, and that is indeed a precious resource.

The Who/How/When of Impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

If you cannot afford to buy one of Art's color prints, he's offering a black and white version for free, (do offer to pay the shipping at least):

Impeach the Beast © 2007 Art Hazelwood black and white screeprint, 24" x 18" image size, edition size is unlimited. paper varies, size approximately 25" x 19"

And/or you can even download a high resolution (1.4 mb) version of his print and plaster it everywhere you go. Spread the message in the clearest terms, VISUALLY!

UPDATE: I just got the following message from Art:
The SF Chronicle has a little interview, review on May 24 page G-20… It gets most of it right except the part about printing for thousands of years..
You can see some of Art Hazelwood's terrific prints in the San Francisco Bay Area May 17-Jun 21, 2007. Art will be giving a talk on Thursday June 21st, the closing day of the exhibit. More info: Galeria Zapatista at Mission Grafica.

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

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