| OPENINGS |
|Graham Boyle’s “Thrive Despite” graphic courtesy of The Fridge|
In Graham Boyle’s words:
“Thrive, Despite! is my search to find balance between conflicting feelings of hope and despair as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century. While so many things seem to be getting better, it is hard not to recognize strife all around. Capitalism proceeds to run amok unrestrained despite the recent financial meltdown, seemingly engineered by Wall Street greed-heads themselves; old-fashioned American Imperialism is kept fresh with ever-occurring wars; natural resources and wildlife are plundered haphazard, and prisons and poverty continue to expand despite the presence of a so-called progressive administration. One could devote a lifetime to work on any given issue in particular, but my interests lie in weaving threads of unity between divergent causes and championing our profound human ability to overcome.
My artistic practice allows me the space to digest the environmental chaos and injustice all around us. As an activist I feel committed to create subjective work that is meant to directly communicate the need for transcending the multifarious issues present in our time and place, but there is also introspective work which needs to be done to to heal our internal “stuff” and allow for dealing with overwhelming aspects of contemporary American life. While I recognize the utmost importance of populist art and propaganda in social movements, at the end of the day we must be able to nurture the self before crusading for the sake of justice or, humanity, or anybody for that matter. Embracing imagery that illuminates the best and worst of what we have to offer, the pieces within Thrive, Despite! are intended to champion our resilient human nature to strive and resist, reinforce the need for solidarity and action in our daily lives, and always to remind us of those on the front-lines of injustice everyday.
Thrive, Despite! is meant not only to reflect the tragicomic nature of our existence, but also to challenge the social and political structures of the hegemon through contemporary manifestations of traditional propaganda such as letterpress, screen prints, and artists books. The media and subjects I choose are how I make sense of it all, and it is my hope that to create space for discourse around the pressing issues of our time while celebrating our human capacity to survive at a time when most of popular society seems destined to run itself off a cliff. And, if nothing else, I hope my work will help bolster your wild spirit through the tough times ahead. Despite the abundance of brutality, oppression, and exploitation, especially here in the heart of the empire, we’ve got to find ways to live, love, create, and resist. ”