YOUR LEADER COULD BE A TYRANT, HOW TO TELL
SEPTEMBER 11 - NOVEMBER 1

Free and open to the public.


Artist Statement:
"My work is rooted in social issues. I create prints, drawings, installations, and artists’ books that explore politics, economy, environment and social justice issues. Recent installations have dealt with gun violence, environmental degradation, politics, religion, and the changing media landscape.

As an immigrant I see the world around me from an outsider’s perspective, an observer peering in, fitting neither this world nor the one I was born into. The melancholy of abandonment, the excitement of unknown, paths not taken, and ones opening up, endings and new beginnings guide my thoughts.

My work reflects on the ever-changing nature of information we are presented with and the unrelenting pace of contemporary life. The news bombardment by various outlets create a culture and atmosphere of urgency that intensely focuses on the present. As one event supersedes another, they blend together to form a fragmented narrative. I try to slow down this deluge by carefully focusing on a specific issue.

As a naturalized American citizen, born and raised Communist Czechoslovakia, I find the rise of ultra-nationalism, protectionism and the worldwide threat to the democratic principles very troubling. Our history of encouraging fledgling democracies and belief in equality is what made this country a beacon of light for millions aspiring to live in such an enlightened democracy. That is now under dire threat. As the western societies become more reactionary, I feel compelled to create and present work in order to engender conversation and dialogue.

Your Leader Could be a Tyrant, How to Tell are paintings of recent and contemporary tyrants and their odd habits. The work highlights the extreme evil that has resulted from the right-wing nationalistic leaders not unlike the trends we now see in governments and leaders around the world. Each painting incorporates silhouetted images of a tyrant/dictator with hand-lettered text about their peculiar habits.

We are devolving into an era when our historical memory and the horrors of past ultra-nationalistic regimes have been forgotten, and new tendencies to control media are clouded by misinformation and fear-mongering. Having an opportunity to help us contemplate where we could be heading is crucial for encouraging us to consider ways to confront the challenges of contemporary political discourse." - Tatana Kellner


Tatana Kellner Bio:
Tatana Kellner has exhibited across the US, Canada, and Europe with over 40 solo exhibitions. Recently, her work has been selected for inclusion in Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL, the Everson Museum, University of Albany Museum, Dorsky Museum, Bowdoin College, Kentler International Drawing Space, Vassar College, Collar Works, Troy, NY, among many others.

Tatana is the recipient of two awards from the Puffin Foundation and two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants. Additional awards include two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, two Photographer’s Fund Award from the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Ruth Chenven Foundation Grant and is the winner of the 2018 Creative Climate Award.

Tatana has been awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Banff Centre for the Arts, Light Work, Visual Studies Workshop, Saltonstall Art Colony, I-Park, Millay Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Artpark, Blue Mountain Center, Jentel, Foundacion Valparaiso, Bogliasco Foundation, Siena Art Institute, Ucross, Haystack and Ragdale Foundation.

Tatana is a co-founder of the Women’s Studio Workshop.

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Additional content: view NewTV's episode of "Museum Open House" highlighting the exhibit.

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