Your questions seem to be aimed at an artist, but I consider myself, in all the work that I do, to be a journalist and documenter. It’s interesting to me that you would use the word “interpretation” here — would you say a photographer is similarly “interpreting” the scene when they take a photo, or are they documenting it? My Occupy paintings are paintings of actual events, actual people; they are not changed or exaggerated to make a point. My work doesn’t comment on the connection between “criminal” behavior and freedom of expression, the importance of public space; I don’t see my work as interrogating the concept of what’s legal. My goal as always is to document accurately. While I certainly create the frame, I use commentary and quotes from protesters, counter protesters, city officials and police instead of my own words to accompany the art for this reason. The “inspirations behind [my] work” are the same as they would be for any other journalist: real events, especially visually powerful ones. Personal proximity plays a huge part in my work, just as it would for any other journalist — I need to be close in order to interview people and witness events. Again, I consider myself a journalist, not really an artist; painting is the medium for some, but not all, of my journalism, because it has a tremendous and unique power to tell true stories in a different way.
My answer to an SF Chronicle reporter asking about my Occupy Oakland watercolors for a story about the SomArts show
coming up next week. Expect to see none of this in the article. (via susie-c
FYI — Not quite ready to resume media briefings this week. So just wanted to give you a heads up so you can plan accordingly. We are still catching up after the work furlough during the holidays.
Email from Sue Piper, Mayor Quan’s press aide, to Oakland city press contacts, sent approximately seven hours before several Occupy Oakland-ers were arrested (in what some are calling “targeted kidnappings”
) and the plaza vigil was dismantled. Oh well! (via susie-c