The Art of Shocking Politics

Controversial Paintings of Political Assassinations Come to New York

Crossman Panel Discussion

As the political climate heats up in the countdown to November’s election, an art show is about to hit town that is likely to add fuel to the fire. State of Shock imagines a world in which President Obama has been assassinated, and shows America’s decline into recrimination and violence in the weeks following the shooting. The show opened to an outcry of protests when exhibited in Charleston SC earlier this year.

Huge depictions of revenge attacks against Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter led to conservatives publicly condemning the show’s original installation in Charleston, with the City Paper describing “outrage in the community” and a TV station’s message board flooded with complaints. In response some political websites leapt to the show’s defense, with the influential Daily Kos website saying that State of Shock “needs to be seen by as broad an audience as possible.”

The controversial show is the creation of British artist Fletcher Crossman who was stunned by the level of anger he saw in American politics. “There’s just so much hatred out there right now,” Crossman says. “We’ve got people carrying loaded weapons to Obama events, and political leaders implying that we might settle our differences with guns. It’s like juggling with matches over a pile of gunpowder, so State of Shock imagines the consequences if the unthinkable happened. ”

State of Shock 3


Aware of the criticism that the show panders to a voyeuristic desire to see certain personalities receiving a beating, Crossman is quick to point out that the tone is non-partisan. “It’s about anger and hatred,” he says, “not about Conservatives and Liberals. A number of people have said it made them reflect on their own feelings.”

“The interesting thing is that we received praise and criticism from both sides of the political divide,” adds Mike Elder, owner of Eye Level Art. “A lot of people came expecting to be appalled because of what they’d read in the press, but they left saying that the show is actually very thought-provoking.”

State of Shock combines large-scale paintings with media mock-ups of the New York Times, Fox News, and other news outlets in order to tell a story. “It’s all about making it seem real,” Crossman explains. “We wanted people to feel what it would be like to actually read those headlines. Artists should be addressing what’s happening in the real world, and when you see this show you are looking at the same cast of characters that you see on your TV screens every night.”

state of shock 1

State of Shock 2

Previously the British Council has sponsored exhibits of Crossman’s work at the New York Art Expo, and earlier this year his paintings were shown at the Katzen Art Museum in Washington DC. The artist now lives in New York.

State of Shock will open with a reception on Thursday 30th September at 6pm, which will be free and open to the public. The exhibit is located at 548 W 28th Street in Chelsea, and the will run until Friday 15th 2010.

Shift 2011 calendar released !

The Shift Calendar Competition started in 2003 with an aim to discover fresh creators by SHIFT. For the 8th competition of this year we have received 1,623 entries
from 35 countries. 12 carefully selected works will decorate each month of the Shift calendar, which will be on sale from October 1st and appeared in shops and
galleries around the world.
Taking as an important role in making opportunities for worldwide creators to extend the stage for their activities, Shift calendar competition has delivered a number of
visual works through these 8 years and the number of them counts 96 works. We believe the calendar competition will take many creators to various places where they
can meet and discover, and will outspread the circle of creation derived from there.
It is time for seeds to begin to sprout for 2011. Enjoy the 12 visual works selected for the calendar created by artists and designers who are waiting to be flowered.




Spec: All colour / 28p / 210×297 mm
Price: 1,260 yen (tax included)
Produced by Shift Factory
Printed by Syoubunsya

Drawing day 2010 is coming


Illustrators and artists alike often go unappreciated. The creation of art and illustration captured our minds ever since we were children and our parents turned the pages of our first book. These stories came to life via the illustrations that took us to an imaginary world full of inspiration.

Whether you’re a professional illustrator or you just enjoy the occasional scribble, you can give back to the illustration community by drawing on this day. By injecting more and more illustration and art into our community, we are not only showing our appreciation to our fellow artists, but we are spreading awareness of the joy of drawing. It is important that you contribute – Drawing Day will only be a success if we all participate and make some noise. So, please tell your friends and spread the word.

One day a year, the world stops to remember that joy we had when we first picked up a pencil and created our first piece of art – that’s what Drawing Day is all about. The goal for Drawing Day is simple – to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art. 2008 was the first year of this initiative.

When is Drawing Day?

Drawing Day 2010 is June 5, 2010. Drawing Day will be held on the first Saturday of June each year.

To participate you can follow the guidelines posted here

Unprecedent Tv ad campaign


Sony has planned an epic effort to alert audiences that its disaster pic "2012" is coming, readying the largest marketing "roadblock" ever for a movie in the form of a two-minute sequence from the actioner that will air simultaneously on 450 TV outlets in North America.

The stunt put the footage in front of 90% of all households watching ad-supported TV, or nearly 110 million viewers. When combined with online and mobile streams, that could increase to more than 140 million.

Overseas, the 2012 roadblock will be replicated in countries at the end of October.


Photoshopping Illegal? France Set to Regulate Airbrushed Pics



File this squarely under “would never happen in the U.S.” but French lawmakers have a fascinating new idea to combat body image issues: require disclaimers on Photoshopped or otherwise “enhanced” images of people.

The required warning would be needed in newspaper and magazine advertising, press photos, product packaging, political campaigns and art photography, according to the Telegraph. The language will reportedly be: “Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person’s physical appearance.”

The proposed law comes from French MP Valerie Boyer and is inspired by a recent report she authored on anorexia and bulemia. She points to the deterimental effect that unrealistic body images can have on adolescents: “Many young people, particularly girls, do not know the difference between the virtual and reality, and can develop complexes from a very young age. In some cases this leads to anorexia or bulimia and very serious health problems.”

More than 50 French politicians have voiced support for the law. If passed, advertisers who break it would be subject to a fine of £30,000 (about $48,200 USD), or 50 percent of the campaign cost.

What do you think: should this law pass? Is Photoshopped body imagery a public health issue?

[via Ars Technica]

WHAT’S MORE ALIVE THAN YOU® International Creative Competition

The list of partners contributing to the final selection of the first what’s more alive than you® creative design competition has been finalised in the past days. Among these, some international companies and institutions.

The institutional partners contributing to the ultimate selection of the WHAT’S MORE ALIVE THAN YOU® creative design competition are:
Tacheles Foundation, a famous, ground-breaking German Art Foundation (Berlin);
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Milan);
Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia (Venice);
IED Moda Lab, the department for fashion research of the European Institute of Design, Milan;
IUAV, Faculty of Fashion Design (Treviso);

The selection panel also includes some important manufacturing companies and suppliers of raw materials and components for the fashion industry:
Vibram®, a world leader in the production of high-performance rubber soles for the outdoor, free time and fashion industries;
Gruppo Giovanni Crespi, an international manufacturer of technical materials for footwear, suitcases, and leather goods;
Material ConneXion®, the widest documentation and research centre on innovative materials analysing over 4,000 different materials and production processes from the whole world;
Richard Lewis Communication, an intercultural communication organisation featuring over 350 advisors worldwide;

The above list will soon include experts from several different fields spanning from manufacturing to communication, from art to design – university professors, advisors, reporters, and the WHAT’S MORE ALIVE THAN YOU® on-line media partners:, an Italian web guide to architecture;
Design Magazine, an on-line magazine which offers an overview of South-African design;
Revolutionart, a free on-line magazine in English presenting the world’s best artists, photographers, and graphic designers.

The selection panel will meet in the ‘TRIENNALE’ of MILAN after July 3, i.e. the closing date of the international creative design competition organised by WHAT’S MORE ALIVE THAN YOU® for the development of an exclusive collection of world designs of fashion-art footwear, bags and accessories to be manufactured in Italy.