Saturday, July 01, 2006

IT'S OKAY TO SMILE, WE ARE IN AMERICA NOW: The Scott MacLeod Collection Part Two: July 2006

Marker on foamcore, 11"h x 31"w

On and off for the last ten years, I've been buying cardboard signs from men and women who use them to solicit money on sidewalks, median strips and other public places. I usually offer $20, a new black magic marker and a blank piece of cardboard, and am almost never refused. Folk art is often just the result of imagination overcoming difficulties imposed by poverty or repression. For me these signs are important more for political reasons than for aesthetic ones, but I am conscious of how aesthetics inform, deform and transform the political. These signs' utility overcomes, I think, any misplaced poignancy. I can only rarely afford to buy these signs, and am not in much of a position to exhibit them, beyond the confines of this digital frame. If anyone an put me in touch with someone who could better care for and utilize these fragile signs, I'd be appreciative.


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