In a world that is haunted by dark shadows like Charles Koch, Cambridge Analytica, and The Federalist Society, shadows whose nefarious actions are not well understood in popular consciousness, the truth that shapes our lives is hidden behind their veil of propaganda. In this situation, to make art that is innocent of political content puts you behind that veil, where you don’t see the world as it is. But to step out and take a stand can have its price. We make art under the name JohnnyEveryman, based on a comic book hero of that name in the 1950"s, and we keep anonymity to provide a platform from which to communicate clear of any assumptions or political repercussions.
“If you are on a speeding train you can’t be neutral.”
Our collaborations vary from one project to the next. The first, an installation piece called Unknown Soldier, is a collaboration between four artists. The painting Thanksgiving for the Blankfeins!, is a collaboration between two artists. It’s also a collaboration of a sort with Norman Rockwell and his iconic painting, Freedom from Want. Our most recent paintings based on FEMA flood maps started off as a dare from an activist who was being sarcastic when she said, “hey, can’t you see these as paintings in some tony art gallery?!” It went on to launch an entire exhibition where we flooded the large gallery with a foot of water, and viewers put on wading boots to see the show. Now, as the climate breakdown starts to hurt more and more of us, Zinn’s comment must be updated….
“If you’re stuck with a train speeding towards you, you can’t be neutral.”