Here’s to Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman and all the wonderful artists who have made World War 3 Illustrated a unique and powerful moment in political art in the US. Started as a reaction to the Reagan years, it has grown and become an important publication of strong and direct art comment . . . for the last 30 years!!!
Some questions for Peter and Seth:
When you see the work altogether like this, what goes through your mind? Do you think of something lost, something gained in the years?
What is the most surprising thing putting this show together brought up for you? Did it give you ideas for revisiting something?
How have you changed politically and personally since this project started? Can this in some ways be related to the making of the art? How has the changing world left your POV? Do you have a strategy for surviving the Obama Wet Blanket?
When you began there were more markets for commentary that actually paid money for graphics. Now, it looks like working on one’s own and in collaboration will be more common. Do you feel like pioneers in this? Or like nothing has changed in important ways.
Of all the artists you’ve worked with can you talk about any one as a person who has gone through a particularly distinct political journey?
What’s next for WW3 and related projects?
The evening I was there was held in conjunction with Milk Not Jails. Free ice cream (nice even in the midst of a winter storm) was very welcome. Especially when brought to you by an expert (Sarah Blust, activist). I got a brief education in the work of this group that night. They are dedicated and smart. Please support them HERE. Gov. Cuomo also saw the sense of scaling back NY Prison Culture, but then ran into a buzz saw of upstate opposition. Here’s hoping he can force some change here. And that people power will help all round.
Peter Kuper has, along with Seth, been the guiding hands of the mag all these years. They both have gone through many art journeys. This strong piece by PK after the 9/11 tragedy. Very big and very good. La Ronde.
Kevin Pyle gave a guided tour of The Real Cost of Prisons, a powerful comic on the Upstate New York Prison Culture, which is run as a business, in a blighted a region. Which shows how deep a hole you can dig politically when we lose our collective imaginations.
Seth introduced the evening’s speakers, which included the wonderful Sabrina Jones, also showing work concerning the prison issue. Literate and passionate.
A great long table with copies and docs.
A very small sample of what’s on the walls, just to show the diversity. Very strong piece by Nicole Shulman on the true story of fuel.
A magnificent Virgin Mary, By Mac McGoll.
The bottom of a huge wrench by Seth, telling the story of resistance to the gentrification of Lower Manhattan.
Kevin Pyle, Peter Kuper, Scott Cunningham (WW 3 artist since ’88).