Flirting with Danger: Inspiring the SS
Art that possesses the power to incite or motivate is always fascinating. Perhaps, because it touches a nerve, its’ function achieves a level of success that has to be respected, if not entirely understood. When a piece of artwork has the power to provoke the federal government to action, it should be respected for its’ inherent ability to project a strong message.
We live in dangerous times. Artists and creative people are being harassed simply for thinking and speaking freely. In the current political atmosphere, non-conformists live in an atmosphere of hazard and insecurity.
Imagine artwork which rouses the curiosity of the Secret Service; a fascinating take on the extension of the creative process as exhibited at the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College in Chicago. The postage stamp, among other images, has been forever altered. Usually regarded as a tedious, carefully crafted image (perhaps overly well crafted) and without serious artistic substance, the postage stamp has now been advanced into the category of serious art; slightly tweaked to emote discomfort as well as to provoke thought. A gun to the head of the viewer (and president) is an amazingly inventive effort.
The controversial representations open an image to intense criticism and yet renders it equally attractive. In these days of uncertainty, art viewers and critics alike seem to prefer art, which is pretty; not scary. Congratulations to those artists whose creative efforts extend beyond the pandering to the status quo.