A few years ago, I attended a documentary film workshop that inspired me with a radical idea. The usual way to promote a film is to woo the media and whatever built-in audience you might have, but at this workshop, the director of Made in L.A. said that the key to her film’s success was that she was able to grow an audience for the film by growing a movement for workers rights in East L.A. Wow, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to grow an audience for Almost Home: Taiwan through growing the movement for Taiwan’s democracy? When I happened to stumble across the resistance art project Art of Democracy, I had an idea.
Major social justice and radical movements like United Farm Workers, Mai 1968, and the Spanish Revolution successfully galvanized artists and activists around the world through catalytic in-your-face political posters. I began dreaming of a resistance art project called Art for a Free Taiwan. I would get artists to create posters that would say “Keep Taiwan Free” or “維護台灣民主.” It would be a win-win situation where I would sell posters and split the proceeds between the film and the artist. I would take the posters with me whenever I talked about the film. I would organize art shows for the posters in radical art galleries. There could even be a book of gorgeous posters in the end.
Well, after a false start last year, when for some strange reason neither Felicia Lin nor I were able to find the right artists to contribute, this idea is starting to become a reality.
Three artists known for their political work will be creating Taiwan resistance art posters for the FAPA-YPG Conference in August 2012. There will be fifty copies of each poster to sell for $20 each. I can’t wait to share poster designs with you next week. In the meantime, you can find out about the artists below and see some examples of their breathtaking work.
Luba Lukova is a Bulgarian-born artist who has won many awards including Grand Prix Savignac at the International Poster Salon, Paris; the Golden Pencil Award at the One Club, New York; ICOGRADA Excellence Award at the Poster Festival in Chaumont, France; and Honor Laureate at the International Poster Exhibition in Fort Collins, CO. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at UNESCO, Paris; DDD Gallery, Osaka; La MaMa, New York and The Art Institute of Boston. She is highly regarded for her editorial illustrations for The New York Times and has also been commissioned by Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Adobe Systems, Sony Music, and Harvard University.
Josh MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist currently living in Brooklyn, NY. His work often revolves around themes of history, radical politics, and public space. His most recent books are Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today (PM Press, 2009) and Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now (AK Press, 2009, co-edited with Dara Greenwald). He is a founding member of the Just Seeds Artist Cooperative, organizes the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series and is involved with the public art group Spectresofliberty.com.
Mac McGill is one of the leading pen and ink artists of NYC. His drawings of the events of 9/11, first seen in World War 3 Illustrated, were published by Booklyn, and acquired by the Library of Congress for their permanent collection. His work has been published in The Progressive Magazine, Tikkun Magazine, Seven Stories Press (Mumia Abu-Jamal, All Things Censored), Four Walls Eight Windows, and The Amsterdam News. He has performed slideshow presentations of his work internationally at BD Amadora (Portugal), Babel Festival (Athens, Greece), HUI9 Underground Festival (Milano, Italy), Forte Presentino (Roma, Italy) and the School of Visual Arts (NYC).