Tag Archives: Carl Grupp

Portrait of the Artist as an Old Writer: Carl Grupp’s Literary Debut

zandbroz-book-signing-carl-gruppCarl Grupp is a natural raconteur.  As most who know him will attest, the man who many consider to be South Dakota’s greatest living artist is fond of peppering a conversation, regardless of subject, with any number of asides, anecdotes and tall tales.

Therefore, one might have rightly reasoned that it was only a matter of time before Grupp, who came of age during the turbulent Sixties, turned his wealth of bizarre and interesting experiences into a book. And finally Continue reading Portrait of the Artist as an Old Writer: Carl Grupp’s Literary Debut

Art and Electioneering: A Short History of Campaign Posters

In the United States, art and politics have long been uneasy bedfellows. This has largely been true since  the onset of the Cold War, which effectively silenced many artists who had been weaned on the radical, leftist ideologies that had prevailed among the American avant-garde during the Twenties and Thirties.

Today, the trend has reversed itself somewhat.  On the whole, however, art remains more an instrument of personal expression (or simply “art for art’s sake”) than a means for making big political statements.

But even if artists try to stay away from politics, politics is by no means devoid of art. One can see this every election year, when Americans are inundated with paraphernalia from various political campaigns: posters, flyers, buttons bumper stickers, etc. Among these, posters tend to be the most interesting and the most likely to yield iconic cultural images.

So, in honor of election day 2014, let’s take look back at the history of the too-often neglected art of the campaign poster.

The first American president to use campaign posters to great effect was John Quincy Adams, who won the hotly contested election of 1824. They began to take on more interesting forms, however, during the presidential election of 1840, which saw the coming out party of Whig Party candidate and Indian Wars veteran William Henry Harrison.

Running under the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”, Harrison styled himself as a bona fide Continue reading Art and Electioneering: A Short History of Campaign Posters

Some Quick Thoughts About Carl Grupp

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Today, the art world is a really big place. In the last few decades, the advent of the internet and the decline of Western cultural imperialism have opened making it an almost global network of creativity.  Major galleries and museums now make a point to feature artists from all walks of life and countries of origin.   If Picasso, a Spaniard, was the world’s foremost artist-celebrity in his heyday, one might argue that China’s Ai Weiwei has inherited his mantle.

But in some ways, the art world has changed for the worse.  Sadly, it is still exclusive and money-driven, prone to excessive hype and bizarre trends. And for all intents and purposes, it is still based in a handful of cultural meccas: New York, Paris, London, Tokyo.

This is why it can be refreshing, even enlightening, to look at the work of artists living in places where the art world has scarcely penetrated, where the creative impulse isn’t overwhelmed by Continue reading Some Quick Thoughts About Carl Grupp

Anna Youngers: An Inspiring Interview

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Age is nothing but an infinitesimal measure when attempting to qualify one’s achievements. For some, it takes years, even decades, to appropriately articulate the internal, and the dreams and thoughts that one holds inside. Others are gifted with that special intuition much earlier in life—regardless of when, this desire may someday take the form of a career. Although not many people know what their profession may be when they are still in the formative stage of their teenage years, let alone harbor the diligence required to steer that desire towards a tangible thing, there are always exceptions to the norm… And Anna Youngers is just that.
Youngers is a thoughtful, articulate woman who is well-studied in her medium and purposeful in her process. Her work is timeless, and holds a captivating quality in its representation. When she was 16 years old she began a Continue reading Anna Youngers: An Inspiring Interview