Artist for the People

?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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