The Art and Activism of David Bygott

Ultimately I would love to be able to produce art which helps people respect and connect with the natural world in a more realistic way. To make them aware of their dependence on it and the way their choices and actions affect it. It’s not something to fear, or to control, or to endure while we wait for some Great Hereafter – it’s the only home we’ll ever know, and we’re doing our best to wreck it for our kids.–David Bygott
Did you realize the giraffe antelope has the ability to stand upright on its hind legs? Did you know there was any such thing as a giraffe antelope? Chances are you didn’t.

Breaking Out of the Box with Beverly Naidus

“I wanted to speak to the lie that we can all wear the right thing or buy the right thing and then we can be American. They said, ‘This is what an American eats and this is what an American looks like.’ I wanted to insert stories about people who don’t fit in or can’t fit in.” — Beverly Naidus to Tikkun Daily, September 2009
Today, on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to end limits on corporate campaign spending, we check back in with Beverly Naidus, a culture-jamming artist we profiled in September 2009. Beverly’s work commandeers the imagery of corporate marketing campaigns, adding provocative text and altering the imagery in an effort to compel viewers to address the ways they are manipulated by advertising.

Positive Outlook: Art and HIV

“I hope that there is a change in consciousness, but how could it ever be claimed that it came from me? Any change will do, even if it just pisses the person off! That could be a beginning to something great. Right?” — John Neilson
It is the gift and the burden of each of us to live the life we are given.

Evelyn Williams: Love Actualized

“I am only too relieved to see my work going to hang on other walls – with its departure I shed my responsibility.” –Evelyn Williams
So often we dwell on the calamities of our world without imagining a better way forward. The purpose of this Tikkun art gallery is to seek out artwork that presents a hopeful and positive vision of this life while still conveying a sense of intellect and awareness of the ways our world and our nature cause suffering and grief. We are not trying to be quaint. We believe that there is a real possibility the world can be, and is being, transformed for the better, every day, by art.

The Art of School Lunch

“My hopes were that the viewer would just take a minute or two to find out who these people were.” -Kai Klaassen
I love it when I am given the chance to examine carefully the face of a true hero – the eyes, the laugh lines, the stress creases of someone known for being brave, accomplished, influential or wise. I also love pie. How wonderful to indulge two passions at once. On a recent trip to Mission Pie, a local “farm to table” café in my neighborhood in San Francisco, I had the pleasure, over a slice of walnut pie, of admiring Kai Klaassen’s recent portraits of lunchroom employees of the San Francisco United School District.

Emergent/Submergent: The World of Kim Keever

“I love beautiful things and beautiful artwork so my first goal is to create that in my own way.” — Kim Keever
The feeling I have when I view one of Kim Keever’s photographs is one of serenity and astonishment at the richness of earth’s wilderness. Then I realize Keever’s process and serenity turns to irony, that a manufactured landscape has made me feel so heart-warmed. The nature scenes in Keever’s photographs are constructed by Keever inside of a 200-gallon tank in his studio in New York City. He fills the tank with water, submerging the miniature landscape.

Art for Earth’s Sake: Jackie Brookner’s Biosculptures

“Fifteen years ago, I couldn’t convince people there was a water problem. Now things are different in a good way in that people are more aware that there is a problem, and in a bad way in that the problem is so much more dire.” — Jackie Brookner
Jackie Brookner is a revolutionary among revolutionaries. All environmental art is inherently revolutionary in that it challenges viewers directly to rethink the ways they interact with nature and to take ownership, for better or worse, of the ways they affect and alter the ecosystem. Brookner’s Biosculptures–living works of art whose porous surfaces are inhabited by carefully selected organisms whose job it is in nature to clean and filter the toxins out of aquatic ecosystems–raise the bar by presenting that challenge not only to viewers but to the environment itself.

Nothing Is Wasted: The Art of Aurora Robson

“The forms in my work are derivative of nightmares I had when I was a child. My fodder is junk mail, litter, waste, and nightmares. My job is to transform these things into art.” — Aurora Robson
When something terrible happens, it might someday somehow be transformed into something less terrible — this is the personal belief to which I most stubbornly cling. This isn’t idealism.

Between Heaven and Earth: A Brushstroke by Barbara Bash

“At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.” — Harold Rosenberg, art critic, who coined the term “Action Painting” in 1952 (later called Abstract Expressionism). Standing barefoot atop a long, white strip of paper laid out on the ground, the artist holds a mop-sized paintbrush dipped in black paint. She quiets her mind, remembering everything and then letting it go, her whole life, the entirety of existence.