I’ve been asked to speak at the upcoming G40 Summit. Actually I’m waxing metaphors here. I’m not really speaking. The G40 Summit is a group exhibition of contemporary art and I’ve been given the honor of having my art, my creative voice included. I tend to view the opportunity to exhibit, like being asked to give a speech, an opportunity to share a profound message with my audience.
“Ladies and gentlemen… ,” yeah, that’s the hard part. What do I say, and how do I say it? I could just speak extemporaneously, or ramble on, or perhaps tell a few jokes. I could draw abstract references to arcane matters, but none of these are my style. I was inspired by great orators like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and Chuck D., so my message must be powerful and have lasting impact. I view an exhibit as much more than an opportunity to show off my newest work; it’s an opportunity to have my work impact future generations. It’s an opportunity and responsibility I take very seriously.
The curators of the G40 – The Summit issued a call to arms for political art, so I decided to address domestic terrorism. While much attention is placed on the importance of hunting down those “foreign” enemies that would seek to do us harm, I hope the body of work I contributed to this exhibition will provoke a discussion, and perhaps influence change, about the harm we do to each other. The violence that erupts daily in our streets, destroys innocent lives, and leaves many living in terror.
Yes, exhibits are opportunities for the artist to sell their work, and to share their creative offerings with the public. And sometimes, as history has shown us, art can have social and political relevance. I heard the call to arms, and responded with work that questions humanity’s inhumanity, and the influences thereof. I saddened daily by the reports of friendly fire in our neighborhoods and the collateral damage that lay in the wake.
There’s a war going on. Art is my weapon.