Art As Social Inquiry


Art As Social Inquiry combines art and advocacy as a way to engage audiences. The current work is a series of paintings about accessing healthcare in the United States. Behind the large expressionist portraits are detailed stories of individuals trying to access healthcare.  The project puts a face to the plight of so many such as medical bankruptcy, denials due to preexisting conditions, and even death due to lack of access to healthcare.  The visual drama of the large portraits makes the Affordable Care Act approachable by making it personal. The artist has teamed up with advocacy groups and taken the portraits to senior centers, churches and other venues as a way to explain the healthcare law.

How did Art As Social Inquiry start?

I have often wondered why so many good people have such different and divisive opinions. ART AS SOCIAL INQUIRY asks the questions: Are we our opinions? Or are we something more? Then what? What is beyond the emotional charge of our opinions? And how do we get there?

In ART AS SOCIAL INQUIRY I paint portraits of real people whose lives embody the social issues of the day, issues like immigration and access to healthcare.

ASI aims to move opinions out of our heads into the real world. ASI challenges the viewers to direct their opinions at the real people depicted in the portraits — people with real stories about healthcare, war, immigration,etc. The experience of interacting with the portraits, and the stories of the subjects, invite viewers to understand how their opinions affect the lives of the people depicted in the portraits.

The portraits offer themselves up as recipients of uneasiness, justifications, political correctness and incorrectness, rationalizing, embarrassment, rage, sadness, compassion, hate, fear, hope, anxiety…whatever.

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