I have been working as a graphic designer for a decade now. I have been doing art for much longer. I recently wrote on why I am doing what I do in my art lately and figured I would share here.
People are splintered by gender roles, class, oppression and dominance. Walls have been built that must be broken down. Language is not always the best tool to approach this with because language is subjective. Art can be a powerful tool in reaching out and breaking down hierarchy while liberating the oppressed. The battle for liberation is one that is fought in the mind, both the minds of the oppressed as well as the mind of the oppressor. The single most powerful way to alter society is by altering the perception of the individual, opening their eyes to realities that one can often be blind to. Art has the power to reach people on both a logical and emotional level. Art can provide an experience that one might not otherwise experience in their daily lives which can push for a radical change in society.
One may create a verbal response to language to deny and reject what is said. Art can leave an impact on people which can vary according to where they are in their own personal journey. This is why art has the power to reach across barriers of gender, class and hierarchy.
I wish to go to school because I am struggling to liberate society. The type of systemic change I wish to see can only be done by deep healing and alteration of the deepest parts of people. I wish to have a hand in liberating hu(wo)man kind from the oppression of violence which is deeply embedded in many cultures throughout the history of (wo)man.
Rigid gender roles, stigmas on sexuality, acceptance of institutionalized forms of violence and capitalism are all deeply rooted in acceptance of oppression and violence. I am seeking not to attack violence, but to heal the wounds of violence and help direct people towards alternatives to accepted forms of violence.
As a Combat Illustrator in the United States Marine Corps my eyes were open to realities of violence and oppression which I reject. I wish to push my career forward in opposing all forms of violence. I wish to learn more about art as a skill, as history, its role in society and technically so that I can reverse the foundations of art to be counter to the type of society that it has supported or reflected in the past. I am struggling to create art that will support in the building of a new society within the shell of the old.
In the United States and throughout Europe society has grown to reject the commonly accepted practice of slavery. One day the same will be said of violence. It is my goal to build towards this shift of attitude in society by pushing people towards it on a personal, interpersonal and communal level through art.
Marshall Rosenberg has taken language and communication towards this goal. Ernest Becker has taken psychology and created a new science which these dynamics can be viewed through. Art must reflect the work of these great minds and help to mold society towards a new level of evolution.
Society must be reached on many levels. Economics, class, religion, government and patriarchy of all forms must be challenged. This is not a struggle for homogeneity, but the effort to bring wholeness to (wo)mankind. Environmentalists, Feminists, Communists and Anarchists all seek a radical evolution of society towards our next level. A radical shift must be supported through art that challenges society absolutely. This is my part.