Sunday, June 12, 2011

US painter Lawrence Gipe takes on Big Copper with his "Approved Images"

A Nazi poster as shown in "The Dark Valley," by Piers Brendon

Richard Prince may call his works appropriation art.

Or, if you´re US Federal District Judge Deborah A. Batts in New York, it´s misappropriation art.

Tucson, Arizona artist and professor Lawrence Gipe has one-upped Prince.

In a show ending this month at the Tucson Museum of Art, he “re-contextualized” a brochure cover by Rosemount Copper, company propaganda widely circulated in Tucson extolling the green virtues of destroying nature.

Rosemount´s cover girl appeared very wholesome with blonde pigtails, holding a solar panel, conveying the tacit message: If you want solar power you must permit widespread open-pit mining.

"Rosemount Copper Girl, 2011" by Lawrence Gipe, oil on panel, 60 x 48 cm

Gipe morphed the brochure picture.The only major changes: the girl points in a different direction and Gipe kills the text.

Gipe, who teaches 2D art as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, enjoys taking and reshaping propaganda images, such as Rosemount Copper´s.

His re-contextualized oils are drawn from regime-approved images such as those the Soviets and Nazis employed with great zeal.

The artist told the Tucson Weekly, “For me, she´s a Hitler youth,” referring to Rosemount´s illustration.

As he was putting up his show on propaganda—“Approved Images”—Gipe rushed to paint “Rosemount Copper Girl, 2011,” giving it prominent play in his show.

Painting by Lawrence Gipe at Hespe Gallery, San Francisco

Although Gipe´s visual bite may have stung Rosemount, neither he nor his work is banned. He´s not detained and charged with tax evasion like Ai Weiwei in Beijing.

Gipe, who was graduated from Otis/Parsons Institute of Design with a MFA, has exhibited widely in the United States and put up a solo exhibit last year in Munich.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™
"Miroma´s Majesty," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2008)

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