The Beginning Is Near: The Art Of Occupy

I’ve always been a fan of well-designed propaganda, even if it’s not for a cause I particularly care about. Some of the crazy Soviet-era Russian propaganda art is just gorgeous, even though the message is kind of insane. With Occupy, I got the best of both worlds: beautiful, revolution-inspired art, plus a cause that I am involved in and care about. The rad folks at Sparrow Media recently highlighted an Occuprint exhibit in NYC that showcased Occupy-themed art from around the world. Occuprint in itself is a pretty cool, too:

…a collaborative project that curates, collects, prints and distributes various posters and graphics by and for the global Occupy movement. The Archive grew out the personal collection of its co-founder, artist Josh MacPhee. This unique space houses an impressive volume of print objects created as part of various social justice movements. One of its goals is to allow this kind of art to exist outside of dominant institutions (that may not be sympathetic to OWS) and instead take it into “the commons”— making it thereby more accessible to a greater range of artists and activists.

As it so happens, Occuprint is soliciting for funds to take their message far beyond an art show: they want to print the “best of the best” posters and distribute them to Occupy movements around the country, as well as screen print or print a “limited edition portfolio of screen printed images, which will ultimately live in the permanent collections of museums, libraries, and other arts institutions.”

Occupy Wall Street and its consequent factions are a big deal: they’ve changed the course of our discussion on wealth, government, and corporate influence, they got millions to switch from corporate banks like Chase to smaller, local credit unions (see Move Our Money for more on this), and the Occupy movement mobilized America to get behind a social cause in numbers that we haven’t seen since the civil rights or anti-war movements of the 60s.

And so with any great movement comes great art and great symbols: the 99% facing off against the 1%; the silent protester being tear-gassed; the Wall Street bull being taken down; and the fearless journalist with camera in hand. These and more present Occupy and the future of our revolution in America. There’s a reason Time named “the protester” their “Person of the Year” for 2011. We are making a difference.

So check out Occuprint’s Kickstarter page (they have less than a day left and are fully backed!), their website, and revel in the wonderful art that we have to represent an exciting time in American history.Some of my favorites are below; download high-res versions here.