Political art is a subject which has allways been controversial. Yesterday an artist called Louis Sidolo got in touch with me to ask if I would like to feature some of his work on my blog. Here's what he said...
I'm a published artist with my work in galleries all around the UK including Harrods.The left will no doubt go apoplectic with rage, but they should calm down and remember the hideous political art of the 1980s featuring Margaret Thatcher. This is mild by comparison.
Although I'm not a member of any political party, I cannot face the thought of another 5 years of Labour. I recently felt inspired to create two pieces of 'Pop art' with a political theme for the forthcoming election. During Obama's campaign in the US, there were a huge number of artists creating work for his campaign, which really made an impact, but I haven't seen much party political art work over here. These are a bit different from the campaign posters that are currently doing the rounds since they are 'art' pieces. These images tell you all you need to know: 'This is Gordon Brown - the facts are staring you in the face - vote for someone else'
The first piece is called 'Reign of Error' . It is a play on words from the recent book which described Gordon Brown’s leadership at No10 as a ‘Reign Of Terror’. In this piece, he is ‘morphed’ into an image of Hitler! Of course it is provocative, but if you think about it, there are strong similarities: Both started out as chancellors, both bullied their way to the top and seized power without being democratically elected, both tried to rig the electoral process, both prone to flying into uncontrollable rages and both caused huge economic damage to our country etc...
The second piece called 'Psychologically Flawed' is not a caricature , it is a portrait derived from an actual photo. I have not distorted it in any way other than through the use of colour to symbolize his personality and mindset. In this piece, influenced by Warhol, he gets the 'satan treatment' with demonic lurid green face clashing with bright orange background, which hints that this person is truly diabolical! The red hand and cufflink symbolises the budget deficit / the red hand of socialism or 'being in the red'.
Louis Sidoli has a website featuring more of his work HERE.
UPDATE: This seems to have caused a bit of a stir in the comments. Let's get a few things straight, shall we? I have reported the fact that a reasonably well known artist has created a bit of controversial political art. The key word here is 'reported'. I haven't given an approving opinion. There are a lot of double standards at play among those who have commented. By reporting something it does not imply approval. I didn't approve of people on the left comparing Margaret Thatcher to Hitler and nor do I approve of others doing the same thing. The point implicit in this piece is that Gordon Brown has achieved such levels of hatred, even among artists nowadays, that they produce pieces of art like this. I felt this was an interesting development and reported it without comment, allowing his own words to justify his art.
Feel free to continue shooting the messenger, but many of you are being blinkered, and reading into this what you want to.
UPDATE 12.54: At least one Labour MP has taken this in the right spirit... Geraldine Dreadful MP has written an open letter to me HERE.
UPDATE 16.50: Dizzy makes the point that no one got very excited when Beau Bo D'Or pictired Gordon Brown as Stalin for Channel 4. Come to think of it, no one got so excited when Vince Cable compared Brown to Stalin, did they? Seeing as though it is not me that's doing the comparing I maintain my view that the reaction to this is totally OTT and full of nauseating rank hypocrisy.
UPDATE Monday: Louis Sidoli has sent me a further comment following the reaction to his image...
"I find it incredible but predictable that some people should find my images offensive rather than a light hearted play on words. The image is called 'Reign of Error' so it is not suggesting that Gordon Brown's actions are the same as those of Hitler (Reign Of Terror) , it is referring to his mistakes and incompetence, though it does suggest that there may be similar character traits. Given all the newspaper revelations and denials over the weekend, it seems as if this analysis could be correct? After all, there is no smoke without fire. There have been so many negative stories about his character now, that you have to assume that at least some of them are 100% correct? Secondly, why is it the 'left' seem to have no sense of humour ? I mean, there are hundreds of images out there portraying George W Bush as Hitler. In the 1980's on 'Spitting Image' Thatcher was portrayed as a bullying fascist tyrant (yes sounds familiar) who would on occasion ask Adolph Hitler for advice, along with Norman Tebbit, her leather clad SS henchman who referred to her as 'leader' - And that was on primetime TV."