It's good to see that protest art is making a coming back in popularity. Considering the general global intifada against all things we used to dare not speak of for fear of being labeled a conspiracy nut, it's about time that artists remember the power of well crafted concepts to slip behind the debate polarities and get people to start thinking instead of parakeeting what other people say. As a follow up to my participation in the historic OWS show on Wall St I was contacted by quite a few media outlets for a little blurb or two. One of them wanted the full monte, a day in the life of, for their show on German TV. It was really a great day overall and comprehensive enough to cover just how dynamic I can be, and equally, just how great NYC is for the rebirth of postcommodified art.
Hit the vimeo link to go straight to the video.
OCCUPY SESAME STREET!
This past weekend I was invited to participate in a show that's quite literally the blood that pumps through my veins. Occupy Wall Street, the rag tag thousands of people reminding people what freedom of speech actually looks like, teamed up with Loft at Red Zone gallery to do a pop gallery literally on Wall St! I mean like outside the front door was freakin Stock Exchange building! Nothing beats the casual face that was hiding my anxiety at handtrucking a 100lb slab of plexi with 3000 9mm shells on it through a corridor of cops of foot, cops on horses, cops on scooters, cops on rollerskates (just checking if you're paying attention). "No officer, I am not a foreign born Arab Muslim supplying ammunition to anti-capitalist revolutionaries, just an artist doing my thing, that's all".
While I love me some high priced gallery eye candy, protest art is the reason why dictators vanish artists along with journalists and academics (I'm 2 out of the 3, should I be worried?). It agitates the soul directly, and subverts the conscious drone of propaganda by talking directly to the subconscious where truth is bunkering from our day to day brainwashing.
The show was a ridiculous success, the space was the old JP Morgan Chase building (gritty, underground, HUGE), and the span of work was well selected and curated. Really, kudos to OWS and Loft@RZ for pulling it off in less that 1 week! Check out the New York Times write up of the show as well as the Art Info inteview with the creative coordinator, Danielle, who gave me a sweet shout out! Yes, it really is my 2nd Spring this year!
As the semester from hell (I thought that passed already in the fall?) comes to a close I'm switching gears back to my real comfort zone, exhibiting art. I'm particularly excited for this show because it combines two of my favorite things into one gooey mushy happy hybrid, namely revolution and art/performance, called "The Revolution Will Be Live Streamed". For now I'll only be showing the two new pieces I created around the Egyptian revolution but I've been invited to also propose a performance piece for this show. It's been sometime since I've hammed it up in front of a live audience which has me slightly apprehensive (over it now). To know me is to know I am shameless. Teeheehehehe.
The event is being put on by an awesome group called Hybrid Theatre Works which I expect will be my new bff organization. And the show itself is hosted by Alwan For the Arts located in lower Manhattan, another awesome groups that I've been really looking forward to intersecting with!
3 Months of ACTION!
The past few months have been a literal marathon of CRAZY. Well, my thesis is done and turned out amazing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who were involved in making this fascinating research really come to life!
I was also graced with a distinguished artist award received from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. This award is particularly special since almost all of my gallery artwork pulls inspiration from social and political issues that impact Middle Easterners. And it's through this type of fine artwork that I hope to create teachable moments for people who see it.
Also, I was invited back to speak on an alumni MCS panel at Guggenheim Museum. In the past I had spent several months working at the museum in the New Media Lab and taught several classes on fine art photograph out of the museum's lab. As an arts educator in the Sackler Center for Arts Education within Guggenheim, I was honored to have an opportunity to speak to current MCS'ers about full potential for each of the departments they're working in as well as describe how working at Guggenheim created a forever 'Guggi Alumi Family' that helped open doors.