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Art

Gigantic Art Party 'All in for the 99%' Raises Morale -- and Cash -- for 99 Percent Movement

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Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM
click to enlarge Volunteers made this formation on the event space's rooftop to kick off the day. - AERIAL PRODUCED BY INTERCONNECTED.IS IN COLLABORATION WITH AIR EVIDENCE, GOOD, SPECTRAL Q.
  • Aerial produced by Interconnected.is in collaboration with Air Evidence, GOOD, Spectral Q.
  • Volunteers made this formation on the event space's rooftop to kick off the day.

[Note: The previous headline in this story said that the event raised cash for Occupy L.A. It actually raised cash for activist Van Jones' nonprofit organization Rebuild the Dream]

It rained just a little bit last Saturday afternoon, but that didn't stop several hundred people from showing up at the ACE Museum on Fourth and La Brea for All in for the 99%, a mammoth art show, with readings, video, music, activism workshops and calls to action on behalf of the Occupy movement, set to re-emerge with the return of springtime and the onset of election season in earnest.

The show featured nearly 100 painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, neon artists, performance artists and installation artists involved -- with names as big as Retna, Shepard Fairey, Skullphone, the Clayton Brothers and Jill Greenberg hanging right alongside the work of unknowns and newcomers.

click to enlarge SHANA NYS DAMBROT
  • Shana Nys Dambrot

The show was organized by the tireless Apple Via with the support and involvement of MoveOn.org, Slake magazine (which set up a library on site, and managed a series of readings), Funny or Die (which programmed a theater with film shorts) and a host of other progressive grassroots media outfits from KPFK to Rebuild the Dream.

click to enlarge Jill Greenberg's art speaks for itself. - SHANA NYS DAMBROT
  • Shana Nys Dambrot
  • Jill Greenberg's art speaks for itself.

The scene was set among sprawling, vivacious visual art curated by Via and Marsea Goldberg of New Image Art.

click to enlarge An artist makes a statement using placards, taking a stand against complacency (and for cake). - SHANA NYS DAMBROT
  • Shana Nys Dambrot
  • An artist makes a statement using placards, taking a stand against complacency (and for cake).

The democratic equality the event was celebrating could be seen by example on the walls themselves. Though not an auction, everything was for sale, with proceeds split between the artists and the cause. And while some work was out of the price range of most 99-percenters, as Goldberg says, "We are all one, even if we aren't all the 1 percent. And for this to work, we need the "good ones" to keep supporting small business and the arts."

click to enlarge Kimberly Brooks' Cashmere plays with ideas about luxury and decadence.
  • Kimberly Brooks' Cashmere plays with ideas about luxury and decadence.

The art was an engaging mix of work made specially for the event, riffing on the themes of social and economic injustice, corruption and greed, and work that the artists may not even have made for political reasons, but that, when re-contextualized in a show like this, take on that powerful dimension.

click to enlarge Sage Vaughn's Eat the Rich plays with ideas about innocence and revenge.
  • Sage Vaughn's Eat the Rich plays with ideas about innocence and revenge.

Organizers were adamant that this event not be seen as a fundraiser, but rather an awareness raiser, an expansion of the vision to include new voices, welcome latecomers to the movement, and create a new push of momentum, urgency and excitement moving into the most heated months of the election cycle. They also were gratified to see a huge number of families with young children participating.

Val Kilmer was supposed to do a reading but, mysteriously, at the last minute, he failed to materialize. Honestly, he was hardly missed, as a lively slate of speakers and readers and musicians took the stage, culminating in a rousing keynote by activist, Obama adviser and supremely conscious citizen Mr. Van Jones (fresh off his appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher).

click to enlarge Jason Alexander and Congresswoman Maxine Waters discuss the issues of the day. - SHANA NYS DAMBROT
  • Shana Nys Dambrot
  • Jason Alexander and Congresswoman Maxine Waters discuss the issues of the day.

Throughout the day, actor Jason Alexander meandered through the show, acting as a tour guide, camera magnet and eloquent booster for the cause.

click to enlarge Back in the video lounge, some performance artists took a decidedly less lighthearted position on the matter. - SHANA NYS DAMBROT
  • Shana Nys Dambrot
  • Back in the video lounge, some performance artists took a decidedly less lighthearted position on the matter.

Follow @shananys and @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

click to enlarge Let's hope photographer Reagan Hackleman is right.
  • Let's hope photographer Reagan Hackleman is right.

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