Fresh from Hurricane Isaac, New Orleans-based Dan Tague presents his second solo exhibition at Civilian Art Projects. An artist and activist, Tague’s work addresses disparities in contemporary American society. For this exhibition, Tague creates work from punk t-shirts, baseball bats, portraits of presidents, bomb and chandelier parts, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, video, and more.
Forever changed by the politics involved in ineffective responses to poverty, education, finance, and disaster, Tague’s work obsessively, ironically, and sometimes comically builds an undeniable argument for the need to change the trajectory of our government and society, especially in terms of the cost of military might and the trappings of wealth. According to Tague, “Military aggression costs billions of dollars and often leads to economic strain resulting in job loss, decline in education, and further restrictions in medical resources for citizens. In this light, some of our basic freedoms are compromised to protect our more capitalist interests.”
In an age of rapid-fire communication combined with unprecedented wealth and disparity, Tague’s work holds an uncompromising mirror up to society. Recently his print of a folded dollar bill spelling out “We Need A Revolution” was adopted by the Occupy Wall Street movement and, in a matter of minutes, was shared by thousands. Through his work, he is not calling for violent change; he is calling for a social awakening wherein the people realize their own power. Through this, balance can be sought, greed can be tempered, and the common good truly worked toward.
Tague’s work indicates that we have lost our way, but there is hope. He articulates problems and possibilities with artisan acumen and relentless questioning: Can we change our path? Can we become a society that moves toward health and sustainability, where everyone is educated and fed? Can we do this as the nation with the highest military budget in the world? Are we exchanging our freedom for the idea of safety? What is the end game: A good life and a nation of honor? Or is it the quest for power and the fear of being conquered that makes this nation hum? Tague politely asks: Can I get a revolution, please?
Dan Tague lives and works in New Orleans. He received an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2000. His work has been used in conjunction with The Spirit Initiative, The Clinton Bush Fund for Haiti, Help USA, and Teach for America. Tague is represented by Jonathan Ferrara gallery in New Orleans and was included in Prospect.2.New Orleans, a new U.S. biennial for internationally recognized artists, curated by Dan Cameron. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Weisman Foundation, the West Collection, and numerous other private collections. He will be included in the forthcoming book “For Which It Stands: Americana in Contemporary Art,” curated by Carla Sakamoto (tentative publishing date November 15, 2012). The book features work by international politically-minded artists including Ai Weiwei, Barbara Kruger, and Tom Friedman.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 2012, 7-9pm
Fresh from Hurricane Isaac, New Orleans-based Dan Tague presents his second solo exhibition at Civilian Art Projects. An artist and activist, Tague’s work addresses disparity in contemporary American society. For this exhibition, Tague creates work from car hoods, punk t-shirts, portraits of presidents, bombs and chandelier parts, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, video, sound, and more.