Sunday, November 21, 2004

an open letter to steven vincent


if my ten year old son did not cringe at the expression "shut-up" i might have titled my response to your

national review piece

"shut-up and write" or possibly "shut-up and look." but since my son skips into the room often to see what i'm up to i thought i would instead "use my words" and then after a "time out" send you my thoughts and the image of a current painting that deals with the situation in iraq.

ok i'm ready now... and i have put my color wheels and brushes away.

my father was an officer in the marine corps and he served in korea and vietnam. i respect his service and i thank him for the sacrifices that he and his buddies made so that i can disagree with him. that is the nature of america. at our best we are a gargantuan mix of cultures, creeds and credos. at our worst we are a gargantuan beast that without a system of checks and balances could easily slide into fascism. now we get to the part about art and politics. currently artists have been given the role of canaries in the coal mine. and we can feel the gradual loss of oxygen in the environment. let's start at something simple- flying. i fly often and like clockwork i am pulled over into the "ashcroft" line for a thorough inspection. and who is in line with me? people of color, immigrants, artists, musicians...
this is why we are so anti-bush. "mene,mene,tekel,upharsin"- we see the writing on the wall and it is as vulgar as your headline. well mister vincent we are not going to shut-up and there is a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced. maybe those of your ilk have a monopoly on destruction. but we artists have a monopoly on the creation of beauty. and in beauty- often can be found truth.

see the attached painting


gregg chadwick

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