Ouch, my Ron Paul portrait just suffered a brutal critique....Submitted by aVoiceof Reason. on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 16:23
So, I'm a freshman art student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (in Chicago)... it's a prestigious school, but it can be harsh at times... I think my painting suffered a little bit of prejudice today...
I did a portrait of Ron Paul for all the obvious reasons.... today was the critique... I'm the only freshman in the class... everyone else is either a junior or senior and is way more skilled than I am... but it wasn't my skill that was under attack... here's roughly how it went...
A guy in the back: "Is that a portrait of Ron Paul?" (said in surprise and disgust).
Me: "Yes, it is...."
A Girl in the front: "Why did you paint Ron Paul?" (confused like she couldn't understand why anyone would do that).
Me: "Because I believe in his political philosophy"
the Teacher: "You mean every man for himself with no social responsibility, you agree with that?" (said really fast... almost surprised).
Me: "No, I believe in social responsibility, but on an individual level and not through government."
then they ripped in.... They laughed about how I portrayed him. They laughed about the lighting (which they said was 'god-like' or 'heavenly'). They laughed at the fact that it was Ron Paul (but ironically they liked looking at it rather than my other painting...).
They laughed at his wrinkles and his neck.... they laughed at the perspective (which was slightly from below... again, the "god-like" factor.... they said he looks like a mountain, etc. etc....).
They laughed about how ugly and grotesque they thought it was...
They laughed about how un-Christian and immoral he was because he's libertarian (ya, right)... I didn't say anything, but reflected on how ironic it was... they claimed that since he appeared all good and Christian from the perspective and lighting it was funny since he's a Libertarian, because they only care about themselves... (classic argument against Libertarians.... funny since you can't be liberal and Christian because Christians believe in liberties, and liberals/welfare, etc. are against that).
I was never trying to make a political argument through this painting... I was just painting it for my admiration of Ron, the philosophy he's delivered to me, and the inspiration it's given... I guess I shouldn't be too upset... everyone in my class sounds like a liberal or Obama supporter....
It's somewhat ironic... Ron was laughed at in the campaign, and they laughed at my portrait and said they thought it was hilarious and goofy...
Anyways, I felt embarrassed and humiliated, and not for the technical reasons, but simply by the fact that I painted a portrait of Ron Paul. Everyone has made fun of me for my support of him... but I don't care... They can laugh all they want, it won't make me waver... sometime I'll try and share a photo of it so everyone can see.
After class though two people came up and told me personally they liked my painting. One girl said that sometimes the best art is the art that pisses everyone off and causes conflict in discussion....
My teacher also asked me more about my political beliefs... had I had more time I would have stayed and completely argued my point about "social responsibility.":
I think welfare and liberalism are NOT compassionate because it takes away a person's right to choose, gives them sub-par care, makes them dependent on that care so they can never get out, allows other people to take advantage of the system when they don't really need it, creates huge bureaucracies that never end and as as result corrupt the government/political process, makes other people suffer financially by having to pay for it through increased taxes, etc.
If all that is their idea of charity, one they are not very charitable... that's criminal and cruel... two, how can anyone claim paying their taxes is being charitable/giving to charity? You're not giving your time or adding any personal element, and you're not giving by choice... You're giving because if you don't you'll get arrested. Charity requires making a sacrifice, which is doing something NOT required or NOT necessary.
I think everyone should take care of themselves. That doesn't mean they can't be socially responsible, but they should do it on their own individual level and not through government. You can't impose morals on people. To be truly socially responsible requires you to take specific effort... not paying a middle man to be "charitable" for you, which is essentially what you're doing through a taxed welfare system.