A Community Painting Project was held at a private event where guests were invited to paint by numbers, but, like most good cacophony, decided to paint by ideals instead. Inspired by Soviet propaganda posters, Inga Bard created prompts reimagining iconic proletariat poses with faces of Bay Area’s progressive creative class and replacing communist slogans with rallying cries seen on Women’s March protest posters.
The images were first designed in Photoshop and transferred onto canvases as a “paint by number” set up with mere suggestion of what to fill in between the lines: red, black, grey?, off white, free form, stars, stripes, smoke stacks, words, etc. No suggested aesthetic. The only parts painted in oil by Bard herself were the flesh of the heroic figures / protesters.
The canvases were then hung at the event with a dress code of “post-apocalyptic interpretive Orwellian”, with brushes and acrylic paint quietly placed underneath yet without any further given instruction. Guests ranged from venture capitalists actively disassembling our world for fun and profit to homeless artists struggling to make ends meet. The result is a set of propaganda posters that revolted into expressionist paintings while amassing an ensemble of paraphernalia ranging from googly eyes and glitter to snark.
These pieces represent the manifest mania of a generation who wrestles with their place in the world. Are we freedom fighters or caricatures of our ancestors? Do we dream in technicolor or in capitalist monuments? The slogans, ripped straight from contemporary opposition narrative, defy the zeitgeist indexing our world.