May 15, 2005. Los Angeles, CA—On June 1, 2005, a billboard on Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, CA is sure to cause controversy. The cause—a graphic image of a shadowy Uncle Sam figure controlling a newscaster puppet. The accompanying headline reads, "Shox News Channel: We Distort, You Comply." This parody of the corporate media and the media monopoly is the second billboard by the outspoken political artist Karen Fiorito, whose work explores the relationship between politics, propaganda and art. Fiorito explains her fascination with billboards:
"Art belongs to the masses, not only in galleries or museums. I take
my art to the street in order to make my voice heard by all people,
regardless of race or gender. Art plays a subversive role in society, offering an alternative narrative to the dominant culture. With this project, as with all of my art works, I hope to initiate a dialogue in the community, not only about political issues, but also about the assumption that art and politics do not mix."
A website, shoxnews.com, will correspond with the billboard, allowing viewers to post their comments. This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Puffin Foundation.
Karen Fiorito currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She has recently exhibited in Iceland, Milan, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Washington, DC (as well as Los Angeles.) Her artwork has appeared in Art in America, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Phoenix, the LA Weekly, the Seattle Weekly and the Philadelphia City Paper. Fiorito received her Master's in Fine Art in Printmaking from Arizona State University and her B.F.A. from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
When: June 1, 2005
Where: Santa Monica and Westgate, Los Angeles, CA
View image at: http://hardpressedstudios.com/shoxnews/index.html
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