Comic-based journalism, where an artist tells reported stories with his or her drawings, has the benefit of addressing sensitive issues with a bit of emotional distance that doesn't always exist in the more immediate video- and audio-based storytelling. It can also give reluctant participants the freedom to tell their difficult and dangerous tales without a direct visual representation, which could put their lives at risk.
Joe Sacco is a pioneer of graphic journalism as shown in his many books, including Palestine (2001), Safe Area Gorazde (2002), and Journalism (2013). In Sacco's wake a mini-movement of graphic journalism has emerged, such as Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less (2016), Wendy MacNaughton's Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words (2014), and Germán Andino's El Hábito de la Mordaza / The Habit of Silence (2016).
Hail to the University of Michigan Museum of Art -- its Victor campaign just found a new leader in donations and it's the best.
Philip and Kathy Power donated $4.5 million worth of Inuit art, making UMMA one of the most important museums for creative works from the indigenous peoples of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
Detroit-based artist and University of Michigan lecturer Joyce Brienza received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and earned an MFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She has exhibited her paintings nationally and internationally, and her work addresses often-dichotomous themes, exploring her interest in “places between.”
I talked to Brienza about her Floating Points exhibit in the Rotunda Gallery at U-M's North Campus Research Complex, which engages with themes of the unconscious/conscious, male/female, and high/low art.
Dalia Reyes is a Detroit-based artist and arts administrator with an undergraduate degree from the College for Creative Studies. In her artist statement for the exhibition Rainbow Body at the Connections Gallery in U-M's North Campus Research Complex, Reyes suggests her work “focuses on pushing fantasy into everyday scenery; where plants have names and all that glitters is definitely gold.”
I caught up with Reyes to ask a few questions about her process, cosmic fantasy, and upcoming projects.
What is drawing now?
This is one question the Art Now: Drawing exhibition at the Ann Arbor Art Center asks its viewers.
As it turns out, drawing is more than just ink or graphite on paper.
Local artist Lynda Cole is back at the WSG Gallery with another adventure in abstraction that’s as much about her sense of self as it is an exploration of art itself.
The last time we saw her work was in November 2015 when she held North to be as much a state of mind as it is a navigational direction. As I wrote at that time, Cole’s North exhibition was a “fusing of time and space -- through a particular state of mind.”
Her Recent Places and Themes is more of the same. As Cole says in her gallery statement, “Months ago, when I began working on paintings for this show, I was exploring the simple way in which two colors would interact.”
Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is a small, excellently curated photo exhibition at UMMA that addresses the relationship between disasters, their images, and viewers. Chronicling an immense range of historical disasters, the exhibit is comprised of shots from the beginning days of photography that have captured remnants of destruction.
Border walls are only as strong as the robot overlords who can smash them to rubble allow them to be.
Sorry, that line was meant for my dystopian sci-fi novel. Chico MacMurtrie's Border Crossers project has a much more positive outlook.
Two complementary exhibitions at Stamps Gallery engage in themes of social and political progress through photography and graphic design.
Celebrate People’s History posters, a project organized by Josh MacPhee since 1998, is “rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced and distributed political propaganda,” according to the Stamps website. Furthermore, “in dark times, it’s rare that a political poster is celebratory, and when it is, it almost always focuses on a small canon of male individuals: MLK, Gandhi, Che, or Mandela.”
In her 105 years on the planet, Ruth Gruber didn't half step anything.
Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Gruber earned a Ph.D. at age 20 from the University of Cologne in German Philosophy, Modern English Literature, and Art History -- the youngest person in the world at that time to complete a doctorate.
By age 24, she was an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist whose life reads like an adventure book.