Phoenix- In a year marked by upheaval, Lotus Contemporary Art, a gallery at 511 E. Roosevelt, presents a rare opportunity to view an exclusive collection of controversial political artwork. Organizers say that in a pivotal election year, political art is highly collectible, and they want to level the field in a liberal leaning industry.
Billed as “Provocative Art 2016”, the public is invited to the show’s opening reception with the artists on Friday, April 22, at 6 PM- 10PM, with an additional showing on Saturday, April 23, from Noon to 3PM.
Richard Bledsoe, a Remodernist painter, writer, and curator who lives in Phoenix, is one of the participating artists.
“The establishment art world tends to cater exclusively to politically correct elitists. This is a beautiful show that expresses a view of the culture people typically don’t get to experience.”
Featuring original fine art by Marc Stolfi, Taylor Overby, Tanya Slate, Sharon Mcgovern, Richard Bledsoe, Denise Fleisch, and Floyd Alsbach, to the often controversial editorial caricature of Roman Genn (National Review), two-time Pulitzer winning cartoonist Michael P. Ramirez, and provocateur street artist SABO, the show covers a wide range of center-right political philosophy.
From the delicate “Ballerina Feet” by Sharon McGovern to hard edged, controversial editorial work, organizers say that art lovers can enjoy the beauty and humor of the political art world, as well as talk to artists who refuse to conform to today’s political norms.
“Most of the work at art shows expresses only one side of the spectrum,” said Melissa Dawdy, one of the event’s organizers, “ It’s clear there is a demand for high quality art from the right as well, and Phoenix is a terrific city for a premiere.”
Dawdy says that artists report show invitations are often withdrawn if they reveal any political conservatism. “The establishment ‘culture’ is very punishing to non-conformists. In the creative field there should be room for everyone’s voice.”
Why call the show “provocative”?
“The pendulum,” says Dawdy, “swings back; ‘Piss Christ’ used to be shocking, but what provokes interest today is artwork that that expresses freedom within the context of Western Civilization.
Artists are planting a flag in the sand, saying “Art is not about conforming to a political view.”