How else to describe these past few weeks other than surreal? Seemingly overnight, the entire fabric of daily life has been turned upside down, yet it is important that we keep ourselves optimistic, energized, and entertained.
Dave Pollot "Dry Run"
Artists around the world have found creative ways to offer hope amid the COVID-19 crisis, keeping people connected during a pandemic that keeps us apart. Many artists have responded to this challenge with the kind of ingenuity you’d expect from highly creative minds, either by swapping physical performance spaces for virtual ones or providing a much-needed humor and optimism to Instagram. In this time of crisis and isolation, the role of art has become more central to our lives, whether we realize it or not.
Dave Pollot revitalizes thrift-store paintings with surreal or pop culture-centered flourishes, bringing humor and play to traditional art. He is able to take art that would most likely be thrown away or given to Goodwill and turns them into relevant pieces full-circle, from a print that proudly hung on your Grandma’s wall, to a painting that proudly hangs on yours. His Instagram has recently featured pieces specifically related to the Covid-19 pandemic, including "Signs of the Time," which was sold to raise money for those affected, such as small businesses, and "Beaches," featuring a visual of the virus particle out to sea. For more information, visit davepollot.com.
Dave Pollot "SIgns of the Time"
Dave Pollot "Beaches"
Art and storytelling can help us come together, cope and heal in the face of grief and loss in inarticulate yet undeniable ways; therefore, many artists are responding to the crisis by creating work that focuses inward at our emotions. Chloe Cox, an emerging multi-medium artist out of Portland, Oregon, addresses mental health and self-love that are both at forefront during lock-down. Within colorful, bright illustrations, she writes in bold letters "I am enough" and "you aren’t meant to be happy all the time." The juxtaposition of the two allows for a powerful message to inspire. For more information on her work, visit her Instagram.
With audiences isolating at home, venues shuttered, events canceled, the arts industry — which operates almost exclusively from public spaces — is scrambling to reinvent itself online. Zach Lieberman, an experiential artist who works in virtual reality and video art, has collaborated with Wetransfer to create an immersive online experience, called Color Push, swapping physical performance spaces for virtual ones. Color Push takes users to an immersive creative portal while they wait for files to upload or download on Wetransfer, to create art through the movement of their cursor — or, if the camera is enabled, their hands and head. Users can spend 90 seconds manipulating a malleable colorful image on their screen. The artwork can be downloaded and shared with the hashtag #colorpush across social media to create an online gallery of user-generated art. The process offers users a moment to zone out from day-to-day tasks and express themselves however they wish. To try it out on your own, visit colorpush.wetransfer.com.