Now, with Arnold
Schwarzenegger poised to capture the California Governor's
office, I thought I'd take advantage of this moment to reflect
on my distant association with the Gubernator, and the many
ironies inherent in being a noncommercial artist in a hyper-capitalist
While I enjoyed Schwarzenegger's
science fiction adventure, that in no way makes
the muscular movie megastar qualified to hold political office.
It's not that I think an actor should not be involved in politics....
just this particular actor! The Los
Angeles Times revelations about Schwarzenegger's
groping and harassment of a number of women should give everyone
pause to think. And the shadowy connections to a neo-nazi
past revealed by ABCNews
are also extremely disturbing. I urge
all of my fellow Californian's to vote NO on the recall.
As for my commercial
illustration for Arnold's first movie, it is a perfect example
of how all art is political. At the time only
a minority of fine art purists and anti-capitalists would
have criticized the poster for being of a crass commercial
nature (and correctly so). But the great majority innocently
saw the movie poster simply as another pop culture image.
However, in today's context of Schwarzenegger running for
political office, no one can view the image without thinking
of politics. That has always been the core reality... all images bear
a political message, whether easily
recognized or not. My Schwarzenegger poster
contributed to the dominant culture, and so it was viewed
as not possessing politics. But
then years later the terrain shifts and suddenly the poster's
political nature leaps to the forefront.
Before you condemn
me for contributing to bourgeois culture by producing the
Schwarzenegger Poster, ponder the following.
When was the last time you supported an artist
by purchasing or commissioning works? I took no credit for
my artwork and wanted no recognition for it (a shadow crossed
my face as I accepted payment for the dirty deed). I only
now acknowledge my hand in the production of the poster so
as to denounce the Republican power grab that the California
Recall Campaign represents.
Art For A Change