Today marks the fifth consecutive day of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a grassroots protests of over 2,000 people from all walks of life who have descended on Wall Street to speak out against corporate America’s plundering of the lower and middle classes.
In addition to organized demonstrations and rallies twice a day at the opening and closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, visuals have also played an important role in catalyzing the movement. But one artist at the protest today, Jon McCarthy, says that more artists need to come out.
McCarthy, a Brooklynite and a graphic design student at FIT, has been doing his part, creating linocut symbols and striking graphics to define the movement and printing them onto t-shirts for people to take away for free (although donations are accepted). The graphic he is working with today is a bold black and white sketch of an iconic image of a fist rising up surrounding by overlapping leaves. McCarthy’s use of the fist, a symbol of several past rebellions of the disenfranchised such as the 1968 Paris protests, carries a profound history of the struggle of working men and women, while the leaves are intended to represent the masses united in peaceful dissidence.
McCarthy noted that artists in response to the protests “should not try to invent their own symbols, but use the symbols that have come before us.” More importantly, though, was McCarthy’s call for more artists to join the protest and create works that will ignite a younger generation to act up. “We need to reach kids,” he said, adding that art is an extremely important tool for youth education.
The protest is continuing at Zucotti Park, which is located at Liberty Street and Trinity Place.
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