November 02, 2007

Illustrations with bite

I’ve been running across examples of illustration designed to shake things up & reflect on the world, for better & for worse:

  • [Note: Not for those offended by profanity]  Paul Krassner’s 1963 “F Communism” bumper sticker is a an incredibly efficient little satire of politics and obscenity.  Check out Kurt Vonnegut’s commentary on the work for historical context.
  • On war & walls:
    • The NYT features a piece on Baghdad muralists hired to beautify, or at least adorn, the city’s grim anti-suicide-bomber blast walls. “With few opportunities for work, [the artists] are delighted with the money, but are also uncomfortably aware that all they can do is paint the symptoms of a conflict that has mired their city in death squads…”
    • Elsewhere in the region, elusive British street artist Banksy has decorated Israeli’s security wall.
    • Back in this part of the world, online company Brickfish kicked off a contest to “Design your own border fence” for the US-Mexico frontier.
  • The San José Museum of Quilts & Textiles (we have a museum of quilts & textiles?) just concluded a show cataloging the ways war is represented in traditional folk art. I was struck by the Afghan war rugs, featuring enormous craftsmanship: “Weaponry images are rendered in extreme, accurate detail, so much so that one can distinguish between a Hind Mi-24 attack helicopter and a Hip Mi-8 troop-carrying helicopter.”
  • Worth1000 members have fun subverting propaganda posters.  Yes, giant bloody kaiser space gorillas scare the hell out of me, too.
  • In response to the Boston PD flipping out earlier this year about Lite-Brite depictions of cartoon characters, deviantART member Kalapusa has worked in the same medium with an eye towards really getting their goats. [Via]
  • Ethan Persoff has dug up a creepy segregationist comic from 1962. [Via]
  • Jessica Hagy offers concise political commentary by way of a Venn diagram. [Via]
Posted by John Nack at 9:49 AM on November 02, 2007

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