By Pierson Brown
In turbulent political times, artists yearn to speak truth to power. “My Two Cents” is a small pop up showing within the Core Contemporary Gallery (New Orleans Square, 900 E. Karen Avenue, Suite D222) that “... seeks to engage viewers with deeper dialogue prompted by emotional or intellectual responses to visual art.” Curated by Justin Favela, Izaac Zevalking (Recycled Propaganda), and gallery owner Nancy Good, they worked with nearly 25 artists known for their “strong artistic voices.”
The show’s purpose: to explore free speech. The mediums ranged from performance and sculpture to more traditional works, all connected by the string of “free speech.” Many pieces spoke out against the bad orange in chief or espoused body positivity. There was a wishing well with a woman inside of it that when you threw coins in, she would throw them back at you.
A giant brain made of silk stockings, that proclaimed “if women are to be objectified then women should be objectified by their brains instead of their bodies”. A neon sign that said “girl” with the names of notable women behind it; like Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Pelosi, and Gloria Steinem. There were more abstract pieces that attempted the theme a bit more subtly. All works were well crafted and arranged plainly around the rectangular room.
It should be noted that though this was a show about freedom of speech and exploring cultural, societal, or political observations, the work sat very comfortably within a narrow range of “ideas”, despite the diversity of artists. Centrist liberal ideologies were represented strongly throughout each piece. Every piece in there was one that the average gallery-goer would nod their head and go “yes. Exactly. agreed.” It is a perfectly agreeable show. If that’s what you are into, you’ll love it. But isn’t political art created to shake up and provoke the audience? I think the show would have a bit more edge if the audience were given more than just what they already believe, truly engaging viewers with deeper dialogue, forcing them to work through why they believe. Most everyone agrees that women are more than sex objects and Trump is a bad person. Give us something to really argue about.
"My Two Cents," the free-speech pop-up exhibition shares the visual voice of nearly 25 invited artists:
Omayra Amador, Katrina Arevalo, Leo Bracamontes, Diane Bush, Zoe Camper, Sapira Cheuk, Fawn Douglas, Denise Duarte, Nancy Good, Ron Hauge, Jennifer Henry, Holly Lay, Lusky, Nova May, Mr. Morgellons, Plastic Jesus, Krystal Ramirez, Recycled Propaganda, Sierra Slentz, Lance Smith, Joel Spencer, Mikayla Whitmore, Annie Wildbear, Lucas Ybarra.
Pictures: Core Contemporary.