Public-option art? Just don't tell Yosi Sergant
Urging artists to promote health-care legislation -- isn't that what got the NEA in trouble a couple of months ago?
This time, though, the push is coming from an advocacy group, Public Option Please, now seeking a political-aesthetic heir to Shepard Fairey, who can sway the minds of voters with clever graphic design.
Politicizing art? Art-icizing politics? Why?
"It allows people to participate in the movement for health care in a way that's not political policy-wonk talk -- to engage people emotionally," said Jane Hamsher, the lefty-blog royalty who is spearheading the campaign with a contest to pick the best poster. "We've had too much discussion about bending the cost curve, and not enough about health care as a human right."
Of course it was one thing for Fairey to turn an image of Barack Obama into the striking "Hope" poster -- he's a photogenic guy! -- another thing to dramatize the argument for government-funded health insurance. You can vote for your favorite on the group's Web site, though the winner will be picked by a panel of judges including Arianna Huffington, Margaret Cho and Jesse Dylan.
Hey, why not Yosi Sergant (the publicist behind "Hope," who resigned his NEA job after a conference call in which he exhorted artists to support the Obama agenda)? "He's been advising us," Hamsher said.
The Reliable Source
November 20, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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