Light in the Dark
Works and statement by Dan Mills
Finding a moment of light within the darkness of poor human behavior is the role of the art of political satire. And the humor in great satire is a light in the dark for me.
Artists such as Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828), James Gillray (1765 – 1815), Honoré Daumier (1808 – 1879), Thomas Nast (1840 – 1902), to name a few, were merciless in their biting critique of politicians of their time and of the political landscape in which they lived. They held no punches. They primarily used a visual vocabulary supplemented with minimal text to make statements better made in this genre than in words.
And we live in a time with many remarkable political cartoonists and political artists who employ satire, too many to mention but a few, such as Enrique Chagoya (1953-), Signe Wilkinson (1959-), and Mike Luckovich (1960-). Like their forbears, they are all brilliant, all worth a look.
Something comedic, that brings you to smile or laugh, brings a moment of light to your life. Many of us experience this in our life on a regular basis, the benefits of a shared joke or anecdote being interjected into conversation, into our day.
A work of political satire, however, is more complicated and subversive. It combines this lightness with the goal of tackling human flaws, bad behavior, even atrocities. Finding a moment of light within the darkness of poor human behavior is the role of the art of political satire.
The great works stay with you, their ideas and visual impact resonate. The most successful change viewers’ thinking, and have influenced society and even culture.
The political landscape in the recent primaries and elections provided considerable fodder for political satire. My contributions to this publication are in the form of digital image montages, and movies made with my digital montages and some audio clips. – Dan Mills