Exhibition shows controversial art

The Eastern Michigan University art department is hosting the international art show “Posters of Discontent” in the University Gallery on the second floor of the Student Center.

The event features 20 artists who use pressing political issues such as censorship, immigration, women’s rights and gay marriage and create controversial works of art.

Some of the artists displaying their works in the exhibition include Luba Lukova, Chad Reichart and Tim Cramer, along with 16 other designers and artists.

Trisha Harbut of Whitmore Lake, Mich. said for her all the pictures take on their literal meanings, as she gestured over to an image of a brain being cleansed on a washboard labeled “media.”

“I relate to that one in particular; I feel that media is taking over my life,” Harbut said.

The images she referred to are a collection called “Social Justice 2008” by Lukova.

“Even though they were made four years ago, the issues are still relevant today,” Katelyn Howdyshell of Clare, Mich. said.
Lukova covers pressing matters and according to her artist biography, “Does not presume to decide for anyone what they should conclude from the images from her portfolio.”

Her goal is to simply have the viewer draw their own observations about what each poster means to them.

“To create their own paths of change if they share her belief that action—that change—is not only necessary, it is just and it is right.”

Reichart is the owner of Spirit3design, a studio that specializes in visual communications.

He is also an associate professor of graphic design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he teaches visual communications, typography and motion design.

Through a poster with a donkey on top and an elephant on the bottom, with the words “Republican’t, Demowon’t,” Reichart pressed that each party lacks motivation.

And instead of a united nation working together to make progress in a less than stellar economic situation, the parties and their members are selfishly moving in opposite directions, leaving the rest of the nation behind.

“I just think it’s crazy,” Cody Clarke of Flint said. “Seeing this makes me think about each party and what they stand for … and now that I dwell on it more, they are both kinda selfish, aren’t they?”

Tim Cramer, creative director of Mosaic in Indianapolis, says that his work Darth Obama was to show the viewer what the proposed “Change We Can Believe In” and “Hope” look like, and how it had not fully materialized during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Brittany Disney of Riverview, Mich. said she can see that the artist feels we’re under a new regime that no one expected.

“Though despite everything in the past four years, I’d still rather have him than [Gov. Mitt] Romney,” Disney said.

As patrons walked and observed each artist, murmurs of political discussions and hushed bite-sized debates were being held between students, staff and art-lovers alike.

The reception takes place Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The works will be on display from now until Nov. 7.


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