Week 8 — Artist — Joseph DeLappe & Micol Hebron

Joseph Delappe is an artist who uses a variety of materials or even objects to create physical sculptures to convey a meaning. Although Joseph has other mediums, he explores the bulk of his work through his sculptures and installations. He typically uses cardboard or other forms of media such a screen to create a piece which is usually large and thus demands your attention. One of his most noteworthy works would be the piece titled gulf war memories which tantalizes the visual sense through photos as well as interacting with the audience’s sense of smell. This was accomplished through fans blowing the smell of KFC to anyone who viewed the piece. Joseph is a very politically active artist; he brings various topics into the light with his works. Delappe was able to create a visual representation of the size of the gun control issue within the United States by creating a large cardboard replica of an AR-15 to display how despite scrutiny weapons remain on the street. Likewise, this artist is antiwar in addition to opposing armed drones which in the modern battlefield work in unison. The works within these areas spill into digital media as the artist would enter a military multiplayer simulation game and enter the names of those killed in action into the chat. At the time, Delappes meaning behind his activism is he tried to remind those playing the game their entertainment is based upon is not a game at all; His work there was a reminder the blood spilled has yet to wash off. The issue of drones is something Delappe seems extremely interested in as most of his works have a drone in the background; simply said these drones act as an all-seeing eye, ominous and ever watching.

Micol Hebron expresses her artistic nature through video and performance art. Some of her work is edited with software to create images which grab attention to those who even just glance at it. One of the works I found most interesting was Daddy issues. The short video shows superman reverses the turn of the Earth to go back into time and prevent the death of Lois Lane, his significant other. However, when Superman returns to a Lois intact and sitting her car, he says hello and Lois promptly rejects him. It is after this rejection he accelerates the turn of the earth thus killing Lois. Hebron uses this work to show how men when rejected are capable of violence, its almost to say if I cannot have you no one can. Likewise, Hebron specifically states this work is personal to her as if she could go back in time and undo the injustices many women suffered from, she would. Recently Hebron is normalizing male nipples through pictures of them because making them normal and insignificant would do the same for women thus desexualizing the female form. Most of her work centers around feminism and creating awareness within the art culture how women are often a minority even within major art cities. Hebron is not only an active feminist she also lays her support behind other equal rights organizations. Her works have been in direct support of the BLM (black lives matter movement); this was made possible as Hebron has created stickers to fuel the campaign of this organization. Furthermore, being a video and performance artist, she seizes the initiative on social media to further support these causes.

The first thing these artists have in common is their bravery and outspoken beliefs. These artists are unwavering in their message and how they get it out. Unfortunately, the issues these pieces convey or the conversations they spark up are hotly debated or shoved under the carpet. For example, some deny the military industrial complex is an issue nor is the normalization of war. Likewise, the overt oversexualization of the female form and how females have been set at a unique disadvantage even within the 21st century. Both are social issues which have yet to be solved. Additionally, both artists create physical displays of the messages they attempt to convey. Furthermore, both artists utilize digital media for the art and the movements/pieces they create. Delappe uses the digital world to highlight the downplay of combat which has turned into a casual game. Hebron’s use of digital media is similar as she creates images and uses them to urge political activity such as voting.

The differences between these artists lies within their styles. The way an individual expresses themselves through art is a signature much like handwriting. Michol’s works are more abstract when compared to Delappes as his works are easier to convey the meaning behind them or have a general idea of what the object is. The campaigns these artist support or create are vastly different. One is focusing on how Americans have become indifferent to the sacrifices their sons and fathers have died for while the other gravitates around the injustices the daughters and mothers have paid and continue to pay. The largest difference is the culture of these two artists. Delappe is from the United Kingdom thus he has been socialized in a different manner when compared to Hebron who is American. Although both are politically active the difference between their views becomes apparent. Delappe focuses on things which are uniquely American which to him stick out as a sore thumb because he is not an American. Perhaps Hebron has not focused her attention on the issues of unmanned drones and the blood spilled by combat; these things are commonly accepted within US society.