I really want to focus on social and political art this semester, works that will hopefully get us talking, especially in what is already proving to be a pretty frightening time.
Ok, lets start this off with inspirations. First off is the graphic novelist/biographer Art Spiegelman, known as an underground comic artist, he rocketed to fame with his Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel Maus which was a biographical telling of the Holocaust through interviews with his elderly father who was a survivor. It is told in a post modernist style with use of heavy line and often minimalist expressions on his characters, Jews portrayed as mice and Germans as cats. It is a story that tells not only of a survivors struggles, but also that of a son who sees some less than comfortable similarities between his father and the Germans that at one time tried to eliminate him. Spiegelman's work has always been an inspiration for its in your face graphic style, pulling no punches, yet at the same time evoking wonderful senses of emotions.
John Hartfield was a German artist associated with the late Dada movement, his seminal works were collages that ended up not only being prophetic but protest in nature. His central theme was about the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and how they were being left unchecked by the rest of the world. He would spend the better part of 10 years on the run from the Nazi regime while at the same time continuing to create subversive art that he hoped would lead to the saving of his beloved homeland. I find Hartfield inspiring because of his extremely dark sense of humor that coupled with his collage work on one level seems to entertain, yet on a deeper one horrifies. I feel that collage can be a form of drawing, instead of making line and structure with a pen one is doing it with image instead. Is that not a form of drawing?