"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane." -- Robert Frost
As the "epic" 2016 Presidential election nears an end at a frenetic pace we've seen plenty of "friends" step up on their social media soapboxes, laud themselves for voting and quite frankly, things have gotten a bit vile for our taste. Alas, whatever your remedy might be, whether a stiff drink or a oneway ticket to Canada, at least as Americans we can all reunite and just laugh about it.
While the art world might be better known for stuffiness and pretension, "Lucky US?", Bakehouse Art Complex's annual fundraiser, certainly packed a punch when it came to humor. Artist studios were open to the public and conversations therapeutically veered far from all of the political mumbo jumbo that we've all been inundated with in favor of art and lighthearted banter. Guests were encouraged to dress festively for the political themed party and we managed to traipse past a good 'ol Honest Abe Lincoln and some quality statement t-shirts. And while we won't dare opine on our choice for leader of the free world, we can't argue with the fact that "a woman's place is in the House and the Senate" indeed.
The venue itself took care to up the ante with political satire. At the entrance, there was an art therapy poster board with photos of all of the presidential candidates. Guests were encouraged to add their own doodles to the installation, and as you might expect, the Donald's portrait seemed to attract the most attention. But Mr. Trump himself would probably remind you that any attention is good attention as far as he's concerned!
The real chuckles were saved, however, for the works on display that were curated thematically in line with politics and/or satire. The Audrey Love gallery showcased works to benefit Bakehouse in a silent auction. Pieces were both derived from resident artists and outside donations. The Swenson Gallery featured works by Pulitzer-prize winning political cartoonist Jim Morin that really had us in stitches. Beyond just poking fun at the US political system, Morin's pieces also touched upon themes like Art Basel, Perez Art Museum Miami and the recent warming relations with our neighbor to the south, Cuba. And last but not least, in true American fashion, the food offerings took inspiration from State Fair staple fare with all things fried, from mac n' cheese to oreos.
If laughter is in fact the best medicine, then allow me to extend my gratitude to the Bakehouse Art Complex for curing my ails for an evening. Now, get out there and VOTE!
© Los Bandidos del Arte, 2016. (Text & Images)