Photography, Text and Video by Jonathan Tang, Copyright 2017
Donald Trump: one of the most unexpected “surprises” of 2016. Since his 2017 inauguration, almost every one of Trump’s actions have faced public scrutiny, especially as he threatens America’s foreign relations and global competitiveness. Notable views and actions include:
Attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides healthcare to the underprivileged and poor.
Banning immigrants from numerous Muslim countries including Iran and Iraq, while ignoring Muslim US allies, including Saudi Arabia.
Cutting funding for sanctuary cities and organizations, which refuse to detain illegal immigrants.
Preparing to build a multi-billion-dollar wall between the US and Mexico.
Encouraging charter and private schools over public education.
Focusing on the coal industry while ignoring renewable resources.
Proposing major cuts to climate change research and action.
Enthusiastically undermining the Justice Department’s checks and balances on the Executive branch.
Combating free speech by limiting access to information and actively altering the truth.
And many more.
While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, Trump’s time in office has been distinctly controversial. His clear contempt for the checks and balances of the American government is worrying. In addition, his aggressive manipulation of the truth threatens free speech, one of the most important tenets of America.
In the interest of studying Donald Trump’s manipulation of information, I sought to approach the actions of the Trump administration by through alterations of my own. I photographed everyday scenes and converted them into propaganda, inspired by book covers, magazine spreads, and other everyday sources of information. While some of the images seek to match those found in these sources (especially photographs from magazines overlaid with text), others are my interpretation of America under Trump.
About The Author: Jonathan Tang is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. Johnathan plans to enroll in medical school once he graduates. To see additional articles by Jonathan Tang, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/jonathan-tang-light-paper/
It was the end of the 1970’s, where I discovered an electric atmosphere at a Rochester, New York discotheque called Club 747. The fun and excitement of this unique night club drew me back frequently to make photographs. Inside the energy and unusual décor, inspired by the interior design of a 747 jumbo jet, typified the Zeitgeist in nightclubs of the Disco era. New York’s Studio 54, where the famous and not so famous partied until dawn epitomized this same period in time. In 1977, the famous American actor, John Travolta introduced his Fred Astaire-like moves on the big screen in the smash hit, Saturday Night Fever. Travolta’s ode to a neighborhood Brooklyn nightclub was represented with the same enthusiasm by the Saturday night fever of Club 747 in Rochester, New York.
The characters at Club 747 enhanced the mood. There was the African American man whose face and hands were marked by the scars of severe burns. He looked upscale in his three piece suit dancing to the rhythms of Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and the Village People. A young determined white college student with her hand in a sling was deterred from receiving her drink. She simply waited for her shot from an anonymous donor with her functional left hand outstretched, as if the drink was already received. The crowd was from all walks of life, the young and the old, the upper class and the less fortunate. They all seemed oblivious to their differences in age, gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, political persuasion or sexual preference. As a body they were universally seduced, united and enlightened by the music and dance of this uniquely American period in time: the 1970’s.
Photography, Text and Video by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017
IN CREATION OF A MOVEMENT
In such a trivial time in the history of the United States of America—a time brimming with such complicated and convoluted and cunning stories, news, decisions and actions—I think there is no better action than to be outright honest.
This is not a hate letter.
This is a call for action: because I want to know from all those fighting out there—from all those fighting out there that day, or any other day, week or month—that they were not only fighting for taxes or education or sexuality, but they were fighting for a movement.
The United States of America needs to come together. But don’t fool yourselves for a minute, for you were broken before the election. It was not the election that divided you, as so many of you blame. You were broken by a 65,844,954-to-62,979,879-person-divide, before the votes were cast.
But there is something to fight for. There is always something to fight for in this new chapter in history. So, let’s hope that when we succeed in fighting for taxes or education or sexuality (and we will succeed), we won’t let that suffice and be content. Scratch that, let us be content. But let us also remember that what we fighting for is nothing short of a movement.
We are not perfect, far from it, but like we always have, we will try to aim for the best and perchance we falter or fail or fall short, then let that too be recorded. Because, America, only in honesty can you truly find the creation of a movement to create change in a stagnant, lost and perhaps unchangeable world.
Sandra had a nice modern apartment in the town of St. Pauli a neighborhood that contains the infamous Red Light District of Hamburg, Germany. I knew this neighborhood well, easily finding her place within walking distance from the Monopol Hotel, located on the Reeperbahn in the same neighborhood. She was located on the top floor of a 5 story building with roof access and lots of skylights. From her location you could simply walk out onto her balcony and listen to the cat calls, as the hookers lined along the Herbertstrase in plain sight of the St. Pauli police station. Yes. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Sandra’s apartment provided a comforting setting to light her portrait. I shot on a big red contemporary sofa just off of her nicely appointed bedroom. I used a combination of high ISO with cross processed film, available window light added most of the fill with my ever present ring flash. Sandra pulled clothes from her own wardrobe dressing herself up like when she and her husband invite another couple over for a night of play. She exuded a classic sex appeal with a mixture of Asian and German looks with perfectly sculpted high cheek bones and a perfectly balanced frame with big hair. She exuded a vibe as if she were ready to please.
Summer Patterns: Keith Breitfeller, Sarah Haenn and Robert McNellis
Opening Event June 3, 2017
May 11, 2017– JED WILLIAMS GALLERY is proud and excited to announce its first showing of 3 fascinating artists, whose works conjugate the feel of summer through the use of patterns of color and light in various striking ways. Jed Williams Gallery continues its exploration of adventurous curating, revealing the subtle connections and inner similarities between various artists and art mediums– including the first-ever showing of large sculptural installations incorporating artificial lighting. “Summer Patterns” seeks to express and celebrate the different connotations of summer, and the intermingling of the device of repeating color patterning with a free, joyful creative mindset. The small scale of Keith Breitfeller’s drawings adds vivid punctuation to the conversation; the interest in color and light is nicely bracketed between Robert McNellis’s illuminated sculptures and Sarah Haenn’s large fabric and framed prints displaying bold pattern shapes. Many of Breitfeller’s pieces rely on metallic inks to reflect light and provide an ethereal foundation. In so doing they echo the play of light and reflections that McNellis uses also to great effect. Breitfellers’ drawing works contain tiny areas coated in repeating patterns that Sara’s work so aptly isolates and in some ways amplifies.
Sarah Haenn is a recent graduate from Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Textiles 2016), she will be showing large fabric works from her thesis, Illuminance Experience, and several framed pieces from Lil Mermaid, a collection of repeated hand-painted prints focusing on the aesthetics of three different Surfer and Mermaid destinations. Haenn’s large prints are inspired from her time spent in Avalon, New Jersey – a beach town full of life long memories and friends which, Haenn says, “has impacted her life so positively”. According toHaenn, her artwork focuses on Experiences – whether it be a specific Experience of a place, or to make work that the viewer can Experience and enter into metaphorically. I draw inspiration from places that have brought ultimate gratification and happiness to either myself, or another.Sarah also currently has work on view in “Surface Forms”, an exhibition at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, which she created during her time as an apprentice there.
Robert McNellis represents the first ever showing by JWG of an artist using actual electric lights and reflective gels in his work. Robert McNellis’ new work is in part a response to the evolving sense of the importance of “narratives of landscapes” in his work of the last year. Relying even more on the untapped possibilities of the photograph, the plurality of image in the new work evokes not only expanses of space, but also expanses of time. Again, he uses details of images derived from photographs and photographs derived from details of images, only now he combines these with an eye towards their narrative undercurrents. McNellis first studied film at the University of South Florida. In 2008-2012 he turned from photography to begin working with mixed media using fluorescent lights, color filters, and building materials to make large three dimensional pieces. He has shown in a variety of venues including the Johnson Center for the Arts (in Troy, Alabama), Holy Family University and, most recently a solo exhibit, “afterimage|photostructures.” at ARTSPACE 1241 in Philadelphia.
Keith Breitfeller‘s drawings are personal, casual works he creates , in his own words,“to entertain myself with”. Just like carefree summer days, Breitfeller’s drawings are fun, fast and allowed to evolve casually and spontaneously. Keith makes them in the evening, during downtime while unwinding. Keith studied with New York Artist Marion Pinto. The keystone of his methods was acquired at the Barnstone Studio, a renaissance type Master and Apprentice program. The heavy emphasis on the Golden Section and color theory continues to inform his work. Residing in Philadelphia, Keith has exhibited locally for 30 years with solo exhibits at Vox Populi, Sande Webster Gallery, Abington Art Center and Perkin’s Center for the Arts. Outside of the region he has shown in Texas, Tennessee, Massachusetts and in Austria.
Please join us for an opening reception June 3, 2017 from 5-7pm. Private press previews and artist studio visits are available prior to the opening by appointment only. Show runs from June 3-24 at Jed Williams Gallery, 615 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia.
About Jed Williams Gallery: Named one of the top art galleries in Bella Vista and Queen Village by Philadelphia Magazine (March 2015), Jed Williams Gallery is a unique art space owned and operated since 2010 by artist Jed Williams. JWG showcases up-and-coming and inspiring artists from the Philadelphia area. Artists featured are from all backgrounds including classically trained as well as self-taught outsider artists. The gallery shows a variety of thoughtful, cutting edge high quality works ranging from 2D, mixed media and painting, to video, installation and sculpture.