Sunday, August 10, 2008

Go Tell Mama!

On Friday I went to the opening of the Go Tell Mama! exhibition at the HVW8 Gallery on the corner of Melrose and N. Spaulding on Los Angeles. The blurb from the exhibition says it best, "In November 2006, a hopeful new kind of politician began to make waves in the field of candidates running for the 2008 presidential election. Inspired by Barack Obama's fresh take and non-traditional bi-partisan approach, CRO decided to initiate an independent political propaganda campaign in support of Senator Obama. On the road to the Whitehouse, this atypical candidate would require a fresh approach. Therefore, unsatisfied with how the political machine usually dictates a campaign, CRO set out to redefine how it should be done. And so was born a series of posters and videos that harness the power of the internet and technology bringing meaningful, thought-provoking imagery to the stale and stiff political scene. is now the central hub for all content created for the CRO mission of delivering Obama's candidacy to the people. Here you can find a series of posters designed for street-level promotion."

Apparently CRO was inspired to do the work after reading Obama's autobiography after he was involved in an accident and he had his jaw wired shut. Here is Ray Noland aka CRO's artist statement - "The GoTellMama! Officially Unofficial Show is an artists run and operated independent political art campaign in support of Barack Obama. It is focused on communicating with voters in an array of contemporary grassroots methods such as a national street campaign of posters and stencil art, animated viral videos, and creative use of internet technology. GoTellMama! was created in November 2006 while Ray Noland aka CRO was recovering from a severe bicycle crash--jaw wired shut for six weeks and mending a dislocated shoulder. The Chicago-based artist devoured Senator Barack Obama's book, 'Dreams from my Father' and became consumed with the man and his story, but also the potential of his window into the 2008 election. What began as the simple production of 25 (pre-ordered) limited edition 'Dream' screen-printed posters has grown into a collection of prints, stencil graphics, fine art pieces, animated videos, an aggressive national street campaign and a series of traveling art shows across the country.

The ambition of the GoTellMama! campaign is to heighten awareness of Barack Obama using non-traditional tactics. We are speaking to an audience regarding politics in ways they may not have been addressed in past elections. We believe art moves and influences in subtle and unconscious ways and speaks to the masses beyond what can be accomplished with a traditional campaign. GoTellMama! will be exhibiting the collection of screen-printed posters, stencils on canvas, and original videos dating back to 2006."

I just realized that I interviewed Ray for a publication in Asia a few years ago when he was doing the artwork for Josh Deep's label Deeper Soul. Wish I had put two and two together at the opening but anyway. If I can dig it up I'll post it. Very talented man.

Here are some pictures from the opening.

More pictures from the opening are here.

The HVW8 Gallery and Shop is located at 661 N. Spaulding Ave, Los Angeles CA 90036. If you're in the area I implore you to give them a visit - prints, t-shirts and more are available from the crew who are very much worth supporting.

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