Emory Douglas, Nixon/Agnew, from Black Panther newspaper. Offset lithograph. Copyright 2009 Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

As the Republican National Convention kicks off in Tampa, FL…

Emory Douglas’s psychedelic-and-engagé graphic art.

This was another discovery from West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977.

Here is Colette Gaiter’s description of the above print, from her essay, “The Revolution Will Be Visualized: Black Panther Artist Emory Douglas” in the compilation:

Collage was one of Douglas’s most favored techniques. In the Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew image, he juxtaposed a photograph of the Republican nominees celebrating their ticket (from the cover of Time magazine on August 16, 1968) with images of anguished black people[…]Douglas’s collage alludes to controversial perceptions that the Nixon administration neglected problems of the urban, mostly black, poor. (246)

The 7,000 Year Old Woman

Betsy Damon, The 7,000 Year Old Woman, New York City, 1977. Photograph taken by Su Friedrich.

Above: an arresting and exhilarating photo by Su Friedrich of Betsy Damon’s performance piece in Jennie Klein’s “Goddess: Feminist Art and Spirituality in the 1970s.” Klein’s essay is one of many in the wide-ranging, informative, eclectic and breezy read, West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, edited by Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).

Klein writes,

Betsy Damon’s The 7,000 Year Old Woman referenced the many-breasted Diana of Ephesus, associated with a Neolithic Goddess site in Turkey where she had lived as a child. Covered in small bags of colored flour that she ritualistically punctured in a public ceremony on Wall Street, Damon eventually formed a spiral/labyrinthine pattern on the ground. Damon based The 7,000 Year Old Woman on a dream that she had had years before. She resolved to realize the images in her dream.  (227)