Challenging censorship

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Premiere exhibit dares public to explore social and economical issues through paintings

A unique collection of Stanley Moros’ paintings was presented at Georgia College as a series for the first time on Oct. 12. A number of paintings, such as the Rainbow Flags, are making their premiere in his exhibit called Banderas- Stanley Bermudez Moros, which is housed in Blackbridge Hall Art Gallery.

“Flags to me have always been symbols,” Moros said. Moros was born in New Orleans, but grew up in Venezuela and his dual citizenship and all the places he has lived shaped his interest in flags as a subject of art. He identifies himself with his work – his fusion of the American and Venezuelan flag is his self-portrait.

One of his paintings of the Confederate flag titled “Heritage” was censored from a faculty exhibition at Gainesville State College. Carlos Herrera, associate professor of art, puts this past situation’s outcome best saying that Moros “was catapulted to the forefront of the art world this year.”

The censorship brought Moros media attention and created dialogue on a past issue that nobody expected to still be alive. Even though he would prefer this dialogue to happen because of the painting itself, not because of censorship, it is proof that his art reflects on current social-political issues.

Stanley Bermudez Moros’ work uses the flags of many countries to address issues such as gay rights as can be seen in this work.

“Artists find ways to bring awareness and make visible what is invisible,” Valerie Aranda, associate professor of art, said.People working with art possess the power to form and change public opinion on social matters, such as the immigration issues discussed during the Hispanic Heritage month at GC.

“Visual art is rhetorical. A message could be delivered to the audience without words” said assistant professor of English and rhetoric Mark Vail during the panel discussion.

Behind Moros’ paintings of the flags, a strong message emerges: an idea of future possibilities to the world course of history, an alternative resolution to the issues of the modern world.

Furthermore, Moros always tries to present both sides of the issue: the positive and the negative, the past and the future, the politically accepted vision and its alternative, and let the audience select which one they want to trust. He has already done this with the two versions of the Confederate flag and the flag of Venezuela.

Herrera says they invited Moros to present his exhibition here as a part of the Hispanic Heritage month.

“We want to show the diversity of art,” Herrera said.

Stanley Moros has plans to continue working with flags in the future. In the future he plans on painting an image of the American flag presenting the current situation of the economy and says he would call it “Broken.” Faithful to his controversial style, he also paints a positive image of the American flag for his kids’ school.

He says that he wants the kids to be proud of America when they see this painting. “I am very proud of being an American also,” Moros said. “That is the beautiful thing of the U.S. – people can express their opinion freely. Artists have the freedom to create what they want and the audience has the freedom to agree or disagree with them.”

© 2011

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By |2011-10-27T14:23:49+00:00October 27th, 2011|News|Comments Off on News 2358