Politics is a collection of attractive, compelling, entertaining art that looks to provoke a dialogue about world events. The artwork of Politics, whether protests in Cairo, America’s “war on terror” or water shortages, creates an open space for discussion and engagement, allowing viewers to reach their own conclusions. Each artist in Politics meets the challenge of making attractive artwork that addresses complex political subjects with a great deal of grace and skill.
Matthew Connors takes an artist’s eye to the frequently photographed protests in Tahrir Square. He captures the historic uprisings as well as subtle details like lasers cutting through the night, light hitting on a bombed-out car, tear gas falling out of the sky: images that speak to the interests of an artist rather than a reporter documenting spectacle alone. The moments Connors captures come closer to bearing witness than the more stylized photojournalism that traditionally mediates world events.
Michael Scoggins’s artwork comes from the vantage point of anyone who aspired from an early age to express themselves visually. This point of view creates a fascinating prism for world events, where it becomes clear that the political understanding of a preteen is, for better or worse, not far from the political understanding of most adults. Scoggins’s art results in insights about current events that are at times beautifully simple, loud or demonstrative.
Lisa Sanditz’s lush paintings reveal the ongoing droughts of the American Southwest. This environmental crisis created by endless consumption and misuse and by the hubris of development in the most inhospitable areas of our country. The landscape is seen in a halcyon dream of loose forms and intoxicating colors, much in the way that someone living on the edge of a struggling suburban development in the Southwest must face each day.
Matthew Connors (www.matthewconnors.com) was born in Port Washington, NY in 1976. He received a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague and the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. He was awarded the MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2010) and the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship from the Yale School of Art (2004). Since 2004, he has been teaching at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, where he is currently the Chair of the Photography Department. He lives and works in Boston, MA, and Brooklyn, NY.
Michael Scoggins (www.michaelscogginsins.tumblr.com) was born in Washington D.C. in 1973, growing up in Virginia and relocating later to Savannah, Georgia, where he gained an MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design (2006). In the summer of 2003 he attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He has shown extensively, gained international recognition and has gallery representation in Atlanta, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Vienna and Seoul. His work is among the collections of MoMA, the Hammer, and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Michael currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Lisa Sanditz (www.lisasanditz.com) received a Guggenheim Fellowship to travel to China to continue her exploration of that country’s industrial landscapes and its single-industry cities, such as JinJiang (Shoe City) and Zhuji (Pearl City). She exhibited the resulting paintings from her several trips to China in group shows including: CRG Gallery in New York City; Galleria Glance in Torino, Italy; ACME Gallery in Los Angeles; and at the Shanghai Art Fair. Lisa Sanditz received a B.A. in studio art from Macalester College (1995) and an M.F.A. in painting (2001) from Pratt. She has had solo shows at CRG, New York, NY; Rodolphe Janssen Gallery in Brussels, BE; the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO and many others. Sanditz’s works are held in private and permanent collections, including: the Columbus Art Museum; the Fogg Art Museum; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, among others.
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