** ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT LIBERATE LIBERTY **
UPDATE: 09/02/2013: Added links to captions on artwork; added tilde to “mañana”.
UPDATE : 09/02/2013: Corrected links; added video.
UPDATE : 09/02/2013: Corrected links; added video.
Our longest engagement to date is the culture war currently taking place in our own back yard. And with no end in sight, liberal/progressive/collectivists have been kicking some serious conservative ass - seemingly without resistance - for the last few decades.
And where the culture goes - so went the country.
Shamelessly transforming our way of life, collectivists have been flexing their cultural muscles; exercising their game plans; shifting strategies to meet any opposition; and patiently inching closer and closer for the final blow.
|Black and White, and Red All Over|
And while progressives were T.C.B. and lying to our face, too many Americans were content to simply enjoy all the hard earned gifts laid out before them by their predecessors, without a care in the world or a thought about mañana.
Oblivious, they hadn’t noticed the collectivist agenda slowly creeping into every facet of their complacent lives, until they were finally bitch-slapped into consciousness by reality, coming to in a home no longer their own.
Now easy targets, the left pounced; relentlessly ridiculing them and accusing them of every hate crime ever suffered by humanity, until they were so beaten down, they found themselves feeling guilty as charged and deserving of any and all abuses.
A couple of generations of white-guilt-apologists-anchoring-all-media later, is it any wonder we have a too large for comfort percentage of Americans, believing that Capitalism, individualism, and personal responsibility are selfish traits to be spurned?
|Is Matt Lauer a Traitor?|
While the rest of us shift the focus off ourselves by blaming our elected representatives: “Time for a change” (spread the wealth), must surely sound like a cure-all to an uninformed, spoon-fed populace? How else do you explain a “Vote or Die” campaign?
Bottom line is: We got here together, because we played together.
Now - it’s time to do something about it - together.
We don’t stand a chance of reclaiming what our Founding Fathers left for us (and the world), if we can’t defend the Constitution, and we can’t defend the Constitution if we can’t win back the hearts and minds of our youngsters.
We must start the process of reversing the damage done so far, by proactively engaging (educating) our young (and their parents), through the arts and mass media...and...we must do this without losing our core principles in the process.
We must out-Alinsky the left - without becoming the left.
Which means we cannot be afraid of fighting back - literally.
|“Fallen Angel” - 57" x 76" acrylic on canvas|
One of the things we can do is to take every opportunity we get (interviews, panels, debates and so on) to promote our principles, and stay on point. Ignore the left’s constant wag the dog tactics, and/or outright shame them about it, and take the narrative away from them. Take charge - Ben Shapiro them!
Yes, we must confront the lies coming from the left head on, but we can’t (just) be on the defense all the time. No more! (how many times do we have to say that?)
Damn - they’ve owned the debate for so long - there is no debate!
And how do we go about taking our culture back from the left?
To begin with, we could start by admitting that we have a little bit of a problem with this “culture” thing.
What’s the problem?
Conservatives (as a whole) don’t give a damn about the fine arts - that’s the problem.
In a constitutional democracy like ours, propaganda is the first line of attack (only choice, really) for those wanting to undermine it, and the left’s done a masterful propaganda job on our citizenry - by way of the entertainment arts - that’s what!
Unfortunately for us, there is a shortage of fine art (the basics) artists in the conservative movement; and where the fine arts go, so go the entertainment arts.
More disturbing then that is this: Most self-described conservative artists are not supporting the few talented conservative artists out there. Artists that have put their careers and well being (family’s too) on the line to help get the message out.
The simple truth is that there’s probably nothing in it for them (self-described conservatives artists).
Before I get into that: Can anyone name any galleries representing conservative artists? And I don’t mean in the traditional “conservative art” sense. I’m talking about contemporary, politically engaged, stand up and be counted, no shame, patriotic conservative art.
|All Quiet on the Western Front|
No? I didn’t think so. I’ve not come across any either - much less one.
Seen any liberal gallery willing to give equal time to a conservative artist in one of their totally-biased-left-wing-agenda-inspired art shows?
Of course not, that would be counter productive. Say what you will, they’re not stupid.
Anyone heard of any “politically conservative art” art collectors out there?
How would they know who to support and/or buy? And, whose fault is that?
Obama was barely a blip on the radar, until a poster promising HOPE jump started his campaign like nothing I’d ever seen before (let me know if you have), and made him instantly recognizable around the world on top of that.
A single work of art did that!
And for better or worse, it serves as an example of how good art can make a difference, and how great art can shape and, sometimes, change the world.
A rising young “street” artist named Shepard Fairey created that painting/poster; suppose the left had not supported him?
Artists tend to support one another - until they don’t have to.
And they don’t have to the second they feel their support is not being reciprocated and/or it will not benefit them personally down the line.
Conservative artists are not immune from this self-defeating behavior.
Despite evidence to the contrary, conservative artists continue to exhibit an “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine” mentality (born of desperation), that does not serve them well. In fact, it does nothing to help stem the left’s dominance of all things cultural - especially - pop culture.
Did you think that this was going to be another “we conservative artists aren’t getting the recognition we deserve” post?
To what extent that statement is true, I’ll leave to others for now. There’s enough of that bitterness going on already, and, it’s usually from artists whose work isn’t selling.
Believe me, I can sympathize with them.
I happen to be in the unique position of being a self-taught artist, that’s been invited to participate in gallery exhibitions (where curators want quality work representing their vision), and art auctions (where sales matter), while being a persona non grata at the same time, and in the same community.
Translation: No gallery representation despite my works proven ability to attract attention and sales - in Atlanta.
Why? Because I’m not quiet about my views, and sometimes, neither is my work:
In fact, about a year ago, I went toe to toe with the owner of a respected gallery here in Atlanta, over this one line promoting a film series her gallery was presenting:
|“OBEY pinkObama” - 15.3/4” x 12” acrylic on canvas - 2012|
|“WE DO NOT OBEY pinkObama” - 15.3/4” x 12” acrylic on canvas - 2012|
“These films, sharing a common social consciousness, provide a catalyst for discussion and active participation in protest against the growing tide of intolerance and hate rhetoric from the political right.”
I emailed the owner and simply asked: “Robin, you find nothing intolerant or hateful about that?”
...and instead of responding, I was rewarded with her posting on her Facebook page that I had sent her the first hate mail she’d ever received, which lead to a public back and forth on an Atlanta art-mag website, that had posted about the opening of the film series.
This didn’t go well with some in her stable, as well as other influentials orbiting her world and the Atlanta art community. However, it did have an effect on that particular line in later postings for the ongoing film series, eventually morphing into this:
“These films share a common social consciousness, highlighting social and economic injustice with the aim of lifting our minds to a place of greater equality for everyone.”
Already well known for my conservative views, this single event seems to have been the last nail in the coffin, and I was tolerated no more. Invites to shows pretty much ceased, artist friends disappeared, and whatever gallery representation may have still been possible in the future - well - I won’t be holding my breath.
BTW - My conservative artist friends and peers were nowhere to be seen or heard during this period (didn’t have my back), despite being very aware of it while it occurred (including an “influential” blogger/artist who lived in Atlanta)? Talk is cheap!
Interesting note: Just this past month, I was contacted (emailed) by a gallery here in Atlanta, and they said they were interested in giving me a solo show. They asked for my phone number and a time they could contact me. I sent them the info. I have not heard from them since. Could it be they liked my current work, and didn’t know who I was because it was not political, contacted me, and then found out that I was “that guy”?
That’s just one of many personal experiences I’ve had, and it is not unique to me. I grew up in Hollywood, and I was a contributor on Big Hollywood for a couple of years, so I am very familiar with tales of conservative artists having to keep a low political profile for fear of losing and/or not getting work.
Obviously, I’ve made my bed and I”ll deal with it. I knew what I was up against.
We need to change the media’s stranglehold on all things cultural, and I have to say that conservative (fine art) artists using the current political climate (solely) as a catalyst for self-promotion, does nothing to change that - and little for them.
Conservative artists bitching and moaning about the lack of support here, and the lack of support there, while they themselves feel perfectly comfortable excommunicating other artists (whose work they raved about before), because somehow these artists didn’t reciprocate that love, and/or live up to conservative views/standards that they deem worthy, is unfortunately, not all that unusual.
How do I know? Because I’ve had experiences with the right that mirror my experiences with the left. This kind of behavior prevents talented work from the kind of exposure that the movement stands most to benefit from. We’ve got to do better then that, if we’re going to start making any headway?
Do we want to win this battle, or do we want to continue to promote mediocrity through what amounts to little more then “pat each other on the back” Facebook type cliques, fronting as sites that are there (supposedly) to further the conservative message?
I will say that some of these sites genuinely strive to serve that cause, and I’m all for that! The failure comes when the sites owners and members, put their personal needs (mutual admiration - for instance), ahead of getting the job done.
Does an artist’s work lose it’s message and/or strength to influence others, because he/she disagrees with another artist (conservative peer) on some issue and/or because they don’t happen to show (reciprocate) their love for another artist’s work?
For those of you who may not know this: An artist doesn’t have to come out and say they don’t like another artist’s work - silence speaks volumes - if you get my drift?
A work of art, or a body of work, is not going to get the recognition the artist (creator) thinks it deserves, just because the artist “feels” it should. Nor will that process be sped up because they band together with others whose work is also finding a receptive audience (sales) elusive? Sooner or later, good (honest - not get on the bandwagon) work gets the attention it deserves, and the better it is, the sooner that will happen.
Pettiness among artists might stifle a talented artists standing in small circles, but it will not damage the artist it’s directed at in the long run. The real victim of this kind of self-defeating behavior (for us in the conservative movement), is that we lose site of the bigger picture and the precious time that it costs us in the process.
I would never suggest that anyone give up on their dreams. Never!!!
Go for it! By all means - keep “working” at it.
In the meantime: We’re at war. If you are an artist and you truly want to make a difference, then, within your means, do whatever you can to help right now.
And if that means support other artists - support other artists.
If you like an artists work, and you think it can help, use it and/or pass it around!
I, for one, don’t mind someone using my images to promote a message (blogs) and/or a cause - profiting from an artist’s work without them, that’s something else entirely.
All hands on deck and let’s make sure the most capable are leading the way.
The message is what’s important - not our perception of the messenger.
Where there is a hiccup; let the messenger deal with his/her peccadilloes?
Liberal-progressive-collectivists are winning, in large part, because they rally behind anyone and/or anything that helps their agenda move “FORWARD!” It very rarely matters how they personally feel about each other.
The Clinton/Obama feud comes to mind: “By any means necessary” they understand!
Everyone knows (by now) that the left are great at pointing out every negative human trait or injustice (past or present), and directing them at anyone who disagrees with them (whether it’s true or not), knowing full well they themselves are guilty, many times over, of the same charges.
Hypocrites - what’s that they ask with a straight face?
We don’t do that, and we never should. That’s not what we’re made of.
We believe in personal liberty, fiscal responsibility, small government and common sense. These are not talking-points, they are a way of life that have proven to be extremely effective to anyone and everyone willing to work them.
Despite the falsehoods and the spin, by profiteering race hustlers; wealthy enviro-terrorists; greedy, self-serving, elitist politicians (all parties) and their lapdog media; (today’s) conservatives are doing their best to ensure that every American (including our liberal friends), can continue to enjoy the freedoms already granted them.
We must confront the lie that conservatives are selfish - every single time it is uttered!
In the arena of caring for others, where action speaks louder then words: Conservatives take a back seat to no one...and...kick liberal ass every time.
Conservatives, regardless of income or race or religion or gender, are always (every minute of every day) reaching deep into their own pockets and stepping up to the plate; giving a helping hand to anyone and/or any cause in need of help. Always!
On the other hand, most liberals are all talk - especially the rich, the powerful and/or the famous. And, when they do find it necessary to participate, their involvement usually consists of finding ways to use other peoples money, while promoting what little help (name recognition) they’ve supplied into further political and/or personal gain.
That’s who they are, and that’s why they (must) lie.
What do I think we can do to win the culture war and stop the erosion of virtues and save the spirit that made the United States the greatest experiment of freedom man has ever known?
We honor our founding fathers by standing up for The Constitution of the United States of America - and each other - by any (principled) means necessary.
That’s what we do.