Today is the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Movement, and I sat down with KQED Radio’s Rachael Myrow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, to talk about my Occupy poster, “This Is Our City And We Can Shut It Down” (below). This poster is included in the “Occupy Bay Area” exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Rachael spoke to me, fellow artist Eric Drooker, and exhibition curator, Betti-Sue Hertz about the significance of the art exhibition and more importantly, the progress and significance of the Occupy Movement in general.
Read Rachael Myrow’s “News Fix” article from KQED’s website on my Press & Reviews page HERE.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Presents:
Occupy Bay Area
July 7-October 14, 2012
$10 Regular/ $8 students, senior, discount
FREE for YBCA Members & YBCA:You
FREE first Tuesday of each month • noon – 8 pm
Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.
Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.
This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.
Dignidad Rebelde (Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza)
Gabby Miller and Miriam Klein Stahl
Nuclear Winter Art
Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail)
Cristy C. Road
Sergio de la Torre
Artists of historical posters & photographs:
“Indian Joe” Morris
Photojournalism and video artists:
The Free University of San Francisco aims to make the highest level of education available, completely free, to any individual who wants it, regardless of color, creed, age, gender, nationality, religion or immigration status— a university free of money, taught for free. The only requirement for membership is a desire to teach and/or a desire to learn.
Eric Drooker, Free University Art School Event
Friday, April 15, 2011 – 7:30PM to 9PM
72 Tehama Street (one block south of Howard Street / off 2nd Street)
San Francisco, CA
ERIC DROOKER is a painter and graphic novelist, born and raised on Manhattan Island. He’s the award-winning author of “Flood! A Novel in Pictures,” and “Blood Song.” He designed the animation for the recent film, “Howl,” a movie based on the epic poem by Allen Ginsberg, who collaborated with Drooker on the book “Illuminated Poems.” His paintings appear on covers of “The New Yorker,” and hang in numerous collections.
Visual artist Eric Drooker will project hundreds of images and explore his early years as a street artist in New York City. Although he continues to create radical street posters, he’ll demonstrate how his images function in various popular mediums. He’ll trace the evolution of his graphic novels into animation–as in the recent hit film “Howl”–and discuss his experiences creating public art, covers for “The New Yorker,” and his slow infiltration of the mainstream.
Lecture will be accompanied by the artist on a variety of musical instruments.