Posted 10 years ago on Nov. 23, 2011, 4:43 p.m. EST by Glaucon
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
When I first laid eyes on the photo these artworks are based on, my first thought was that it would become the staple photo of the Occupy movement; much like the famous photo of the running naked Vietnamese girl was for the Vietnam war.
The police officer stands out in a striking way. It almost looks like he was hand painted over the shot. His position is extremely relaxed and this creates a huge contradiction with the violent act he is committing. His non-chalance is deafening and all powerful. In addition, his duotone coloring adds a drastic effect. His dark blue uniform is menacing, while his orange mustache matches perfectly with the orange spray. The blood red can sticks out beautifully.
The only problem is that the perfect layout and esthetics of the policeman are not paralleled by the rest of the photo which is rather usual and bland. There's also a problem on the right side where part of protester stands close to the camera and obstructs the shot.
The artworks fix this annoyance by pulling out the policeman and re-contextualizing him inside famous Victorian paintings. This serves to balance the esthetics and render the image much more powerful. The message could not be more direct. The protesters are represented by Victorians minding there own business in the most casual and peaceful of settings. The grace of the policeman and the grace of the subjects make it seem like this is a perfectly ordinary everyday occurrence. Absolutely shattering imagery.
If the Vietnamese girl served to portray the extreme violence of the war to fuel peace protests, the policeman collages serve to out police violence in the most peaceful and commanding way possible; and that's exactly what Occupy needs at this time. This is a major improvement over the dark and violent images found on some of Occupy's posters. And, finally, the core of the image is directly linked to the American occupations instead of being pulled from other protests like those of Tiananmen Square. This hits home where the heart is.
I'm convinced these beautiful and powerful postmodern works will be remembered for years to come and will define a major element of what Occupy is all about.
(The policeman in this photo and artworks has had his life ruined. This is a big price to pay for his action and the other policemen will be taking note. This might help Occupy protesters in a big way.)