“My subjects face the viewer and make eye contact thus establishing an even greater human relationship”. Sheila Halligan-Waltz
Sheila Halligan-Waltz studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago and privately. It is was her feeling as an artist-citizen which compelled her, to paint numerous works to document the personalities and abuses of the Bush White House. Beyond the Bush era, my work tackles issues including the prejudice connected with Aids, Breast Cancer, Mental Illness, Corporate Greed, Gay Rights and Rape. Embracing life, She simultaneously paints erotic subject matter, local characters and friends as an antidote to the inhumanity.
Over the centuries artists have stood up on behalf of important social causes and issues, sometimes at their own peril and at the expense of their careers.
Art with a cause has never been about commerce but about representing truth as we know it. Social injustice, poverty, war, civil rights and gender bias are hardly issues likely to decorate corporate offices, hotels and living rooms. However, such significant forces in history have inspired powerful art-Picasso’s Guernica, the work of Jose Guadalupe Posada, Goya’s Caprichos, Botero’s Abu Ghraib paintings all convey the artist’s passionate view of social injustices.
When contemporary social justice issues are addressed by lesser-known artists, it is a rare venue that will exhibit such work. Many nonprofit galleries who receive government funding “self-censor” political work; most commercial galleries fear offending their patrons by showing controversial subjects. This results in slender opportunities for artists with a message. The protest art of the past, however, has become very marketable.
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