Archive for January, 2017

Tips on making Political Art: 2017-2020

January 19, 2017


Tips on making political art from 2017 to 2020:

  1. Respond to events as they unfold.  Keep your eyes and ears open.
  2. Stick to the most real sort of reality.  The truth hurts but lies can kill.  Artists often dwell in a world of imagination.  Once again though, harsh reality rears its ugly head.  It will be hard to ignore. It may well be dangerous to ignore.  You may need to take a “sanity break” now and then.  Yet try to understand what’s happening and to respond to it.
  3. You need to do more than just preach to the converted.  You need to go outside of your own circle at times.  Some of the conservative citizens also care about the earth, love, human dignity, art, poetry, truth, respect, magic and beauty. Maybe we can change their minds or at least initiate a dialogue. Art is one way to do this.
  4. I’ve made a promise not to mention his name, or to mention it as little as possible.  Mr DT has all the publicity he needs.  He doesn’t need any help from me.
  5. Elsewhere, I’ve taken DT to be a humorless trickster.  If so, he’s one who hates being ridiculed or kidded.  Can he take a joke? That said, humor will have a part to play in any art that responds to these new events and new players.  Some believe that making fun of the man empowers him and even helps him.  Yet there must be something here that we can  make fun of!
  6. In responding to political events: if you’re frightened, if you’re sad, if you’re angry, if you’re enraged , you still need to carry on.  You need to have whatever you create still be an authentic work of art.  You need to speak to people, and to touch people.  Maybe you can move a few hearts and minds.
  7. Making political art may well connect you with the greater tribe of artists.  Dialogue and work with each other and enter into a spirit of solidarity.
  8. Art can wake people up.  It can shake them up.  It can make them more aware.  It can also be a balm or a medicine.  It can be a calmer place amidst the frenzy.  Both of these sides are important.
  9. Watch out!  Watch out for bigotry and the forces trying to make hating normal again.  Watch out for censorship and disinformation. Watch out for violence and incitement toward violence.  Watch out for stupidity and cruelty.
  10. Form the wagons into a circle.  Try to aid and protect the poor people.  Try to assist and protect each other, both through art and through life..
  11. Beside making art and viewing art, try to protest.  Go to marches and gatherings.  Write and phone your elected officials as regards those issues that you care about.  We’ll find out how good our checks and balances are.  Will America be a true democracy?


My old Blog Posts on Political Art:

REVOLTED! A  Political art shows in Highland Park, Michigan from January 21st to February 4, 2017:

The Uninvited, a political art event in Detroit, one day only, January 22, 2017 1-3pm:

Related material:

Political Art in Times of Trouble?

Political Art in the Age of the New Nihilism?


By Tomi Ungerer