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the art of protest

April 22, 2010

“Through our images we are the creators of culture and it is our
responsibility that our images are of our times…”  Beautiful and inspiring art that can make one hate and love at the same time.
artist’s statement [excerpt]:

My personal views on art and society were formed by my being born into that silent and voiceless humanity. Realizing later that it was not by choice that we remained mute but by a conscious effort on the part ofthose in power, I realized that my art could only be that of protest – a protest against what I felt to be a death sentence.

As a Chicano artist I feel a responsibility that all my art should be a
reflection of my political beliefs – an art of protest. The struggle of
all people cannot be merely intellectually accepted. It must become part
of our very being as artists otherwise we cannot give expression to it
in our work. I am in agreement with Pedro Rodrigues, former Director of
the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center, San Antonio, Texas, when he said,
“Fundamentally, artistic expression, or culture in general, reaches its
highest level of creation when it reflects the most serious issues of a
community, when it succeeds in expressing the deepest sentiments of a
people and when it returns to the people their ideas and feelings
translated in a clearer and creative way.”

Through our images we are the creators of culture and it is our responsibility that our images are of our times – and that they be depicted honestly and promote an attitude towards existing reality; a confrontational attitude, one of change rather than adaptability – images of our time and for our contemporaries. We must not fall into the age-old cliche that the artist is always ahead of his/her time. No, it is most urgent that we be on time.

Las Drogas, Silkscreen – 1992
by Malaquias Montoya
George Jackson, Offset Litho – 1976
Long Before Long After, Charcoal – 1992
Globalization, Acrylic Painting/Collage – 2004

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