Kathryn Born Asks Do Republicans Suck At Art or Just Too Busy Stealing to Care?

August 19, 2009 · Print This Article

Kathryn Born who is building a little corner of Art talk and opinion under the roof of the Chicago Tribune asks a lot of conversation starting questions every now and then to get the mind racing but most recently the Tribune home page front page story “Obama as The Joker: another image co-opted by conservatives because they don’t have art of their own” has her taking the political zeitgeist by the horns and goring herself.

The question is do Republicans make decent let alone good artists and why are they incapable of making political artwork of merit. Mix that with a bit of background history on the Obama Joker image that came out over 2 weeks ago. It has been discovered that the image was first created by a Chicago History Student at U of I by the name of Firas Alkhateeb who made a faux Time Magazine cover with a photo of Obama photoshoped to look like the Joker. That image was put on his flickr account and then appropriated by a currently unknown person on the west coast and the Time reference was removed and the Tagline “Socialist” was put in it’s place.

The question it seems is what is the role of Art in Politics, does political art have legs to have lasting impact as art or is it limited to only high water marks in history? Then finally what is the problem with Republicans and their inability to make quality political art? Are they too busy drawing paychecks to draw altogether? From one agitator to another, I salute Ms. Born and suggest a 2004 Siduri Sonoma County Pinot Noir which goes well with shoe leather as I well know from experience.

4 thoughts on “Kathryn Born Asks Do Republicans Suck At Art or Just Too Busy Stealing to Care?”

  1. Hudgens says:

    Update: Flickr deletes the Obama Joker image off it’s servers due to copyright-infringement concerns. Too bad the image wasn’t a parody then it would be protected…. oh wait.


  2. Kathryn says:

    Jesus, Christopher, that’s like the nicest goddamn thing anyone has said about the blog since it started.

    I had a budget for guest contributors that’s run dry until mid-September, so I’m writing fairly solo until then, so it’s only mildly terrifying.

    Any pro-bono writers for a month???


  3. There are indeed certain inherent tendencies of specific political directions. it is often complained that no decent conservative political cartoonists can eb found — logical, I feel, conservatives tend to be simply too humorless unless they get full vicious, which is usually more their radical rightwing cousins. Also, e.g., it has been complained that Liberals (in the US sense, thus light left) can’t do good “hate” talk radio. It is not in their range, so to speak, they tend to be too accepting of others.

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