Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dustin Parker, Manifesting Hope

One of the cool things about this election year has been all the creative design and inspired art that has surrounded the Obama campaign. Starting with the small design firm he hired early on to do the logo. But what I am talking about is more the way that this candidate has inspired street artists like Shepard Fairey and how he in turn has challenged other artists to step up.

In Denver and online, Fairey started a contest and had a gallery show called Manifest Hope. Artists from around the world submitted work, there were judges and winners and all of that but the best part was just to see the work and make the arts an integral part of the convention experience.

It worked. There was art everywhere, in the gallery itself and on the streets of the mile high city.

One of the artists I saw promoted through the blogging about the Manifest Hope project (he didn't seem to be an actual contestant- at least his work is not displayed in the online gallery...) was Dustin Parker.

Dustin has done a lot of political pieces but the two recent ones centering around our choice in the 2008 election are the one at the top of this piece and this one;

I like his work, a bit illustration-like but it also has terrific texture and composition. (though he was minimalistic on the ears...guess he was trying to avoid making it feel like a cartoon reference)

Parker's done a lot of other work, some very interesting pieces with Lincoln as the central figure. And his blog, that discusses process, is fun in an digital art-geek sort of way.