Artists Transforming Weapons into Powerful Messages of Nonviolence

nonviolence

In honor of Gandhi’s birthday and International Day of Nonviolence, check out these incredible works of art promoting peace around the world. On October 2, the birthday of nonviolence philosophy activist Mahatma Gandhi, the United Nations commemorates International Day of Nonviolence. It is meant to reaffirm the universal desire for a nonviolent existence and a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding. The nonviolence philosophy started by Gandhi is continuously present in the art world, as artists of various backgrounds and disciplines create works promoting pacifism and peace. For International Day of Nonviolence, here’s a look at seven artists who use the weapons of war and conflict to create impactful art, thus transforming their associated narrative. 1. Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s ‘Nonviolence’ Sculpture In 1980, singer, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City home. To honor Lennon and his vision of a peaceful world,        …read more

Discovering Our Cultural Heritage through African Art

African art

African art tells a broader story of African heritage than we often see in media. When I was growing up, I wished I could pinpoint where my history started. If I go solely by the education I received in my early years, my story began when my ancestors were shipped to the Americas to cultivate a country in which the Constitution called each of them three-fifths of a person. In her master’s program my mother learned our history beyond slavery, so she made sure I was well educated on my history, even if I couldn’t specifically place where it began. My mother not only spent time teaching me African history through books and lesson plans, but she also filled our home with African art. So when I visited the expansion of the Fred and Rita Richman Gallery for African Art at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, I felt right at home.        …read more

Russian Artist Draws Life under Putin

Russian artist

Victoria Lomasko’s new book tells the stories of Russia’s voiceless. After facing censorship issues in Russia, the latest work by Russian artist and graphic journalist Victoria Lomasko was published in March of this year by New York–based literary magazine n+1. Other Russias is the first of Lomasko’s work to be published in English and the catalyst to her first American tour. The book is a collection of graphic reportage depicting the life of Russia’s voiceless under Putin. According to the Russian artist, she jumped at the idea of having her work published in the United States and translated into English because of the political tensions between the two nations. “It will be good if Americans hear the voices of ordinary Russians rather than just Putin,” said Lomasko. The 320-page book chronicles Lomasko’s reporting from 2009 to 2016. It follows children from isolated communities, sex workers, elderly women, enslaved Kazakh migrant workers, members of        …read more

Craig Davison’s Imaginative Art Carries Us Back to Childhood

imaginative art

Is adulting getting you down? Escape to simpler days with Craig Davison’s imaginative art. A boy swings a cane at another boy holding a pipe. Other children tussle behind them. But even farther behind those kids, two shadows emerge, displaying the story behind this play-fighting: Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader. This Star Wars homage comes from Craig Davison, a 51-year-old artist based in Ludlow, a market town in Shropshire, UK. Davison is known for capturing the flights of fanciful play that children often exhibit, thanks to adding the shadowy inspirations for these kids’ fantasies. In his most popular work, looking at Star Wars characters, children crouch in garbage cans, pretending to be R2-D2. They wield golf clubs as lightsabers. A girl climbs atop a boy’s shoulders in her version of Chewbacca. These drawings aren’t just for Star Wars nerds; they shuttle us back to a simpler time when fantasy breathed        …read more

Contemporary Dadaism and Internet Memes

Dadaism

The internet is a gallery of contemporary Dadaism. Memes. The inexplicable internet phenomenon that gets better every time a fresh crop of Photoshopped pictures, gifs and Vines pop up on your screen. Thanks to the internet we can fully enjoy modern visual culture. Modern artists, such as Bill Domonkos, are using the internet to create their own digital art. The threshold to create art is lower than it has ever been and more people are expressing themselves online through contemporary Dadaism. https://vimeo.com/120899890 The internet reveals a wide variety of content. The most enticing part is the intersection between digital art and memes. Whether it’s Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter, you’ll regularly find outrageous user-generated content — photos, gifs or text. From the crying Jordan meme, pettiness with Disney’s Skai Jackson, Mr. Krabs blur meme, the various Drake meme-ifications from the best dancing gifs to a tiny Drake who’s randomly placed on        …read more

Ruined Art: The Pros and Cons of Art Restoration

art restoration

An examination of current art restoration controversies. Last year was not kind to ancient art. Along with the destruction of countless villages and towns, Syria was hit by the loss of one of its most treasured cultural monuments after it was taken by the so-called Islamic State. Palmyra, the jewel in the country’s already glittering crown, was seized by ISIS. While the place was already in ruins before the group claimed it as their own, many feared that by being possessed by the group, the site was completely lost to its native heritage. That is, until now. After hitting the headlines as a casualty of the war in Syria, Palmyra became a hot topic in the cultural world and just some months after it was “lost,” groups of art restoration experts were planning its spectacular revival. Not only would the place be brought back to its former glory but, better        …read more

Solving the Problem of the Museum Today

Musée de l'Homme

How innovators are bringing the museum into the 21st century. The museum is often regarded as the prerogative of the elite and the graveyard of invention. In order to bring our past into our present, we need to change the way we use museums. Natural History Museum, London Despite their dusty shelves, the museum was once considered something much more vibrant, the cutting edge of contemporary culture. The early museum was thought of as a temple to the muses, where enthusiasts presented offerings to the patrons of the arts. Repositories of all things cultural, the early museum preserved information for the use of well-read scholars. While the collections contained some of the most interesting curiosities of their time, the museum was intended to serve the intellect of the privileged, rather than distract the general public on a rainy afternoon. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the museum we know        …read more

10 Publicist Tips for Politicians from Renaissance Art

Alexander VI, Andrea Mantegna Renaissance art

Have current politicians given up on their public images? A 1989-era Keanu Reeves had an excellent adventure bringing rowdy historical figures to the future. Think Renaissance orgies, murders, bullfighting, illegitimate children and forced ascensions to Pope-ness would tarnish a man’s political image? Creators of Renaissance art left politicians an artistic tip list on how to help anyone portray themselves as Raphaelian angels. Politicians of today need only look to Gozzoli and Bruegel to present more like Hillary and Ted than Bill and Ted. Tip Number 1: We Rule the World, Peasant. Alexander VI in The Resurrection, Pinturicchio (1454–1513) A multitude of sins can be covered with gold robes and a prayer pose. Even at their most scandalous, modern-day politicians don’t equal the political résumé of the Borgias. Alexander VI — a self-appointed Pope, famous for very open corruption and immorality including reported orgies with married women, bullfights and at least        …read more