Thursday, September 10, 2009

NEA throws Yosi Sergant under the bus

"Sergant was the key organizer in the historic arts effort to back the Obama campaign. In January 2008, Sergant teamed with Shepard Fairey to produce the now iconic HOPE posters (a variation on Fairey's original PROGRESS poster, above and flipped). He began handing out the first 3,000 copies at a rally at UCLA and they stumbled into history.

"He then went on to commission literally dozens of artists--and inspire hundreds more--to create Obama images--making the candidate the face of hope, progress, and change. By the end of the summer, Obama was riding the biggest creative surge for any presidential candidate ever.

"Earlier this year, at the request of grassroots artists and arts advocates, Sergant helped to organize a White House meeting for them--I was there--and he has helped open the doors to artists like Saul Williams, Mayda Del Valle, and graffiti artists like Kofie to the White House. He was appointed to one of the country's most influential positions in culture as the director of communications for the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation's largest funding agency and policy-setting body.

"In an interview I did earlier this year with him, he told me he started out in Los Angeles as a self-described "goofy kid trying to get down" in the cipher with the freestyle dancers and trying to get up in the train yards with the graffiti writers. "It's who I am, " he said. "Spray-paint brought me to the NEA and I won't forget that."

Thank you Yosi!

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