Josh MacPhee is a printmaker, curator, writer, and activist who uses art to inject protest politics into public discourse.
Emphasizing the street over the gallery, MacPhee’s visual and graphic work is accessible and eye-catching yet deeply political. His themes include social movement history, the environment, and militarism. Much more than a street artist, MacPhee is also a self-taught historian and curator of the visual culture of late twentieth and twenty-first century left politics. Founder of the Justseeds political graphics collective, MacPhee is author or editor of five books and curator of two major touring exhibitions on political art and the visual culture of protest. Since 1998, he has commissioned over 100 posters in the Celebrate People’s History series, which was published in book form in 2010. Most recently, MacPhee co-founded the Interference Archive, a zine archive and exhibition space in Brooklyn that collects and displays socially-engaged art and activist publications. Through these diverse activities, MacPhee has built a remarkable creative practice centered less on his singular vision as an artist than on supporting the ideals that inspire him. As part of Exuberant Politics, Josh MacPhee will come to the Iowa campus for an extended visit that will include multiple opportunities to engage students, faculty, and the community in questioning how the arts and culture can address the most challenging and urgent questions facing our society today.
The talk is part of the Exuberant Politics series, of which the Obermann Center is a co-sponsor.