occupy 2011

Dates To Remember

January 12th, 2010 - Earthquake in Haiti

May 16, 2010 - Aiyana Stanley-Jones

September 17, 2011 - Occupy Wall Street

February 26, 2012 - Trayvon Martin

April 14, 2014 - Nigerian school girls go missing

July 17, 2014 - Eric Garner

August 5th, 2014 - John Crawford III

August 9, 2014 - Mike Brown

August 9, 2014 (Still happening) - Ferguson Protests

January 3, 2015 - Nigeria Massacre

If I’ve forgotten anything, and I’m sure I have, please add on.

Ice Vortex, by MichaelBlanchette

This ice cave was at the Vatnajokul Glacier, in southeast Iceland. Vatnajokul is the largest and most voluminous Icelandic ice cap and one of the largest in all of Europe. The glacier also sits on top of several volcanoes including the volcano that erupted with force in 2011. Vatnajokul occupies 8% of the country of Iceland. These ice caves are precarious in that they often last only one season before collapsing.

2011 - U.S. police in riot gear clashed with student protesters at the University of California, Berkeley, after they refused to dismantle their camp. Tents were erected following a march against tuition fee increases for students - which was part of the broader Occupy Wall Street movement. [video]

The Black Lives Matter movement resembles Occupy Wall Street in 2011, which is cause for both celebration and concern: Both establish a polarizing antagonist — police, bankers — who serves as an entry point for structural critique (systemic racism and politico-economic inequality, respectively). Both have given birth to and mobilized highly decentralized, politically diverse and fairly spontaneous protest movements. Both operate amid contentious politics and feed off friction — or the threat of it — with the state. And just as Occupy mostly dissolved during its first winter, so too could Black Lives Matter.

I had a lot of questions after 9/11 that I used my art to address. My views weren’t necessarily shared by many of my peers; more than being underground, they were considered disinformation and somewhat cast me as a pariah in a culture I helped built. Suddenly, cute shit was taking over the streets all the while real shit was going down all around. Then the economy crashed in 2008. All my growing fears and frustrations with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ever-expanding coffers of the 1% bankster elite profiting from the military industrial complex at the expense and enslavement of the working class were confirmed. So I took to the streets, but this time I put my spray can down and my fist in the air. This was Occupy LA 2011, the very start. I was among the first ones out there on the 101/110 freeway overpass. As my friend Mike the Poet writes, ‘I am alive in Los Angeles.’ I love this city, but politically we’re immature in many ways. What was happening in NY wasn’t taking root here at all, so I got up and did something about it. When I returned home these were the experiences that fueled my visions I began piecing together.

#FalseProfits 36x48" Acrylic on Canvas now on exhibit at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York for the Winter Invitational, opening TONIGHT! Saturday, February 20th, 6-8PM at 529 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011.