Often, this year, we have had the feeling of standing still and watching time go by, of not taking steps forward. But if some things can be temporarily suspended, if we can close almost everything inside the house, other things cannot wait, cannot be locked away: values, the right ones, those for which to take to the streets.
There are current issues that cannot be put on hold and that cannot fail to have an impact on the art world. Let’s review together the best works and artistic initiatives related to the current events of 2020.
United States Presidential Election
A Washington Post study claims that the lies or false statements, told by President Trump in the last 4 years exceed 200,000. In October, a few weeks before the vote, Phil Buehler and Tom Tenney have covered an interior New York wall with Trump’s lies, creating the Wall of Lies.
Remember what they did, a name that does not leave too much room for interpretation, indeed a real invitation to vote consciously for the new President of the United States of America. The art project transformed the worst affirmations of political leaders such as Senator Lindsey Graham and President Donald Trump into posters and objects with which to wallpaper cities.
The phrases chosen by the artists involved are the ones that have most divided and upset public opinion, from “When the looting starts the shooting starts” to “Even if the world goes to hell and a handbasket, I won’t lose a penny.” both pronounced by the current American President.
Edel Rodriguez, an American artist of Cuban descent, recounted the highlights of Donald Trump’s entire term in office, but also of the last presidential election, through a series of ironic illustrations capturing the outgoing president’s greatest blunders.
For the first time in its almost 100-year history, the American weekly TIME has replaced the logo on its 2 November cover to make room for a stronger and more consistent message: VOTE.
One of America’s most famous poster artists was called in to create this special issue: Shepard Fairey, aka OBEY.
His unmistakable style, a mixture of pop art and writing, is combined with an activist and revolutionary approach that enhances the meaning of his works and links them to ideals of dissent and denunciation.
To mark Climate Week, a team of artists, activists, and scientists transformed the famous Metronome clock in New York into a giant countdown.
The large clock on the facade of the Union Square skyscraper that usually tells the time has started to indicate a kind of time: the time the world has to limit carbon dioxide emissions before the point of no return is reached.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s famous speech highlighting the problems caused by climate change, the famous art duo Icy and Sot created the work entitled ‘Our house is on fire‘. The Iranian artists created a silhouette of a house and then set it on fire.
How long are we going to let this planet burn before we do something about it?
Black Lives Matter
Following the brutal murder of George Floyd, the mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, commissioned ‘Black Lives Matter‘ artwork. Thus, a few months ago, a huge yellow ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign appeared on one of the city’s most important streets, just a couple of blocks from Lafayette Square and the White House.
Adrian Brandon illustrates the weather. The time that has been stolen to many people. The little time these people have lived and the long time they will never live.
His series of portraits entitled Stolen is dedicated to black people unjustly killed by the police. The peculiarity of these illustrations is that they are all unfinished. Before starting each piece of artwork, Adrian Brandon sets a timer and the number of minutes he devotes to the portrait corresponds to the number of years the person depicted was when he was killed.
Are you always desperate for something to watch? Instead of opting for yet another mediocre TV series, this autumn we have recommended 9 documentaries and interviews that illustrate the powerful history of black culture in America and the concept of “white privilege”, which will help you understand phenomena that are often difficult to digest. Below is the trailer for the documentary Dark Girls.
We end with an advice. In recent years, with our work, whenever we have needed to, we have taken a stand against events that have often seemed bigger than us, against battles that might not seem to be our own, against issues that we sometimes feel are so far removed from our daily lives. We have done so by talking about the works of artists whose struggles, political opinions and criticism we share.
Our invitation is to always be informed, no matter how, through newspapers, international publications, TV programs, films or, why not, even with a simple illustration. The important thing is to do it.