Real Talk

Art as an Engine

Discrimination permitted, Plamen Veltchev, Curate This, Art as an Engine

There is no such thing as art being too aggressive, or too depressing, or too dark. Art is just visual, realistic, contemporary observation, after all, based on everyday facts. We are currently experiencing modern conflicts that cannot be ignored, while issues such as social injustice and global warming are seen as platforms or tools for political gain instead of as failures that need an immediate attention. Art has always served as tool of documentation of a particular age or time. It has the power to make people think, even if only for seconds.

Art can be a constant, powerful graphic reminder that warfare and poverty continue to exist, that the lack of fairness in a government exists, that basic human rights are being denied and there is nobody to defend those affected.

In Philly there are many artists who do work which reflects on our contemporary distresses. I am drawn to the aggressiveness and the messages in the work of YOMI, DOOMED FUTURE, and Joe Boruchow, which is based on our everyday reality. There are also, of course, many people who are not themselves artists but contribute, and support and guide political messages. For example Robert Perry (owner of Tattooed mom) and Conrad Benner. This support from “outside” is now, as always, vital to artists’ work.

I created the “DENIED” project as a symbolic emblem that represents contemporary peril and global unrest, using symbolic elements and imagery to unify my messages. In some of my newest work I respond directly to our political environment. My work as DENIED responds to gun laws, immigration, global warming, and the prevalent lack of access to clean water and human rights.


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