Andrea Bowers is a lifelong activist who has focused on women’s rights, immigration advocacy, civil rights, and climate justice. Drawing is an essential medium for Bowers, whose works on paper are extremely labor-intensive projects with carefully selected subjects. She edits and redraws her source material (extensively researched archival photographs from various media outlets) to highlight the essential message, event, or protagonist of the topic she chooses to address. By isolating and monumentalizing her subjects, Bowers moves away from the concrete occasion where the image was first used and imbues it with a more universal, transcendent, but no less urgent and powerful message. This monumental work reproduces the cover of a 1914 issue of the radical political activist Emma Goldman's journal Mother Earth, which contained her essay "Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty." Composed of collaged pieces of found cardboard and executed in permanent marker, the drawing is inspired by the do-it-yourself strategies of political protesters' handmade signs.
Gallery label from Unfinished Conversations, March 19-July 30, 2017.