Artist for the People

| May 23, 2003

?When we make art in the studio we assert our humanity. When we make art in public, we assert our existence as social beings,? declares Mike Alewitz, an outspoken labor activist since the 1940s. On its website, La Lutta, New Media Collective is showcasing works from Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz, published last year by Monthly Review Press. Alewitz uses bold colors to depict powerful women and men, sometimes detailed with elements of fantasy or humor. ?Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living,? reads a banner from the History of the United Mine Workers Union dedication ceremony in 1990. A man with outstretched arms holding red lightning bolts proclaims ?Scab Free Zone? on another banner originally painted for the National Association of Machinists and reused for a Teamster strike against UPS. Alewitz?s art unites workers around the world with themes of solidarity and hope.
?Anne Geske

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