Peace day / “Passion’ and ‘voice’ are words often associated with art, but the graphic design exhibit Seeing Red adds another ingredient: anger. A pinch of fed-up fury always makes things a little more exciting. So when 35 graphic artists from around the world are invited to express their passion and anger in a screen-printed poster of only red, black and white–things get irate.
Some motifs are as random as matchsticks, helicopters and Mad magazine’s redheaded gap-toothed boy looking suspiciously like George W. Bush. But they all make points about social issues, some often ignored because of their gravity.
The show, which is being held on International Peace Day, will forward all proceeds from poster sales to charities of the artists’ choice. There is a potential to raise more than $65,000.
One of the youngest artists invited to participate in the show is 21-year-old Sara Zeidenberg whose poster shows a huge dead black tree under which stands a boy distorted and maimed by Agent Orange. He is all red. A few letters from a passage, from an ignorant President Reagan speech, are highlighted to spell out D-E-N-I-A-L. ‘It’s an issue that’s not talked about seriously,’ says Zeidenberg. ‘I touch on the issue of denial which occurs around most scary issues.’ She criticizes the way governments have dealt with its disfiguring and deadly effects. ‘American soldiers, Canadian soldiers and Australian soldiers all got compensation for the damages that the poison did. All the white soldiers, basically. All of the Vietnamese cases were simply disregarded.’ But, she says, ‘They were involved too, and still are. It’s a degenerative situation.’
Zeidenberg saw similar degenerating chemical effects on her aunts, whose bodies changed with the atomic bomb’s blast of radiation. In Japan the continued emission of rays has caused many people to experience genetic mutation.
The show will travel to Pittsburgh where it will be shown for the month of November. The show’s coordinators also have verbal confirmations for the show to travel to Knoxville, Tenn., Omaha, Neb., Seattle, Wash. and Anchorage, Alaska.
Pegge Hopper Gallery, 1164 Nu’uanu Ave., opening reception Thu. 9/21, 5:30-8pm, show runs through Tue. 10/31