Painting webinar: BOARDED UP
LIVE on Friday, August 28 2020, 11 am Pacific. Register to watch anytime thereafter.
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Watch the inspiration video here: https://youtu.be/NsfRUoXrAVs
After purchase, we will send you access link to the webinar (before session starts) or recorded links if you purchase thereafter. We'll also send you the link to the shared photo folder specific for this webinar.
We're using ZOOM as video platform. Video and audio for participants will be muted by default during the live webinar. You'll be able to view and listen presentation, and interact via chat. Session will be recorded and up for replay anytime after live webinar ends.
Last week, we read about a project by an artist named American Artist consisting of flipping all the images of artwork featured on the Whitney Museum website into images of plywood boards. The switch happens online twice a day, at exactly sunrise and sunset time, and lasts only 30 seconds. After that, the website goes back to normal.
The project inspired us to feature boarded up windows in our paintings to document what the city went through a few months ago.
In late May, early June of this year, people of all creeds poured into the streets despite the risk of death by viral contagion to protest the newest episode of police brutality's decades-long saga.
Shops boarded up their windows triggered by the collective PTSD-like scars left by past riots. But something was different time around. The streets being "targeted" were highly gentrified areas. What burst open onto the streets this time was essentially a collective cry for change brought to the doorstep of corporate symbols.
In retrospect, the plywood boards' optics could not have been any more dissonant. Shops reacted in fear. Panic of private property damage upstaged any kind of genuine empathy for the cries from the community the shops allegedly served and depended on. The look was of abandonment, yes, but also of abdication at a time we were collectively asked to step up. Plywood became a symbol of distrust.
At the beginning, most boarded up stores failed to leave some kind of courtesy notes on the plywood. The subliminal message behind that blatant omission was that apparently even THEIR freshly installed plywood was too precious to be "damaged". They missed an opportunity to communicate any sort of message out into the open, and the few ones who did, did an abysmal job: taped white sheets of paper with computer-generated Black Lives Matter printed on them. It was insulting, honestly.
The irony of it all is that the stores that went under since the plywood walls went up did so because of the pandemic shock, not the riots. Retail analysts are now talking about percentages of paying customers who will not return to the shops that were boarded up due to the terrible optics. The verdict of that decision seems to be pretty unambiguous: thumbs down branding across the board (give us brownie points for the pun, please). It turns out that in a world where margins of all kind are getting smaller and smaller, that handful of customers who will not shop there because of the plywood treatment may cause the surviving shops to shut down for good.
Go on a drive-by and take a snapshot of a shop still boarded up. Those images will be the subject of our paintings. This is the picture of how the pandemic decimated our communities. It's also the picture of the epic failure in communication between some local businesses and the communities they depended on.
• Painting premise: streetscape with boarded up windows.
• Props: photos of boarded up windows.
• Painting surface: any size, any kind. We recommend 9x12 or under.
• Painting webinar medium: oil over cotton paper. Feel free to select your media.