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Friday, December 27, 2013

Jicarilla Maiden

Jicarilla Maiden
silkscreen on paper
14" x 11"
source: Edward Curtis 1905

This is a limited edition print available framed or not framed on paper. To purchase, please visit my online store here: http://bit.ly/Jicarilla

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

child labor


this is a pencil drawing on brown paper
4' x 3'
study for my next stencil
original source: Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Russell Means

Oyate Wacinyapin (Works for the People) 
aka Russell Means
Oglala Lakota 
November 10, 1939 – October 22, 2012
rest in peace, brother

pen & colored pencil on kraft paper

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pretty Nose & Dakota Unity Riders



Pretty Nose was a Cheyenne Woman who lived near Fort Keogh in 1878. How she ended up there is unclear, but by piecing together historical accounts, we can sketch out a likely route. 

In 1876, the Battle of Greasy Grass, otherwise known as the Battle of Little Big Horn took place very close to Fort Keogh in what is present day Montana. In that battle, the Cheyenne joined the Lakota and Arapaho to defeat Custer. After this defeat, the various groups disbanded as there was not enough grass to sustain their collective horses.

What transpired following this dispersal was years of battling attempts to forcibly relocate the tribes to reservations. It is unclear which band Pretty Nose was part of, but judging by her location in the year 1878 at Fort Keogh, it seems likely that she was with the group led by Little Wolf. However, she could also have been among the group that was imprisoned for a time at Fort Robinson with Red Cloud, who was released and allowed to go join the other Cheyenne at Fort Keogh in that same year.

The figures to the right and left of Pretty Nose in the mural are inspired by the Unity Riders, a contemporary group of Dakota people who make pilgrimages across the US & Canada on horse back as a prayer of Peace and Unity. Each winter, they travel 300 miles to the site of the largest mass execution in US History, which took place in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln ordered 38 Dakota warriors be simultaneously hung in Davenport, Iowa, for war crimes. 

There is a documentary about this ride here: 
Read about the Dakota War of 1862 Here

This mural was conceived of and inspired by the stories and journeys of these people and in remembrance of the history of First Nation people which is not taught in American or Canadian schools.

Further impetus for painting this mural was derived by the desire to give respect to Indigenous Women from the past and up into the present day and onwards into the 7th generation because they often go unrecognized in favor of their male counterparts. Major love and respect to the Women.

This mural was made as part of the O+ Festival in Kingston, NY






Sunday, September 29, 2013

Earth Revolution

12 year old Ta’Kaiya Blaney is Sliammon First Nation from B.C., Canada. Along with singing, songwriting, and acting, she is concerned about the environment, especially the preservation of marine and coastal wildlife. 

Check out her website here: http://www.takaiyablaney.com/


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rise Up!


My work is going to the X Architecture Biennale of Sao Paulo, Brazil this year as part of their Occupy Wall Street exhibit.
I have limited edition prints available for sale for anyone who wants a print for their collection.
Just go to my online store here: https://www.wepay.com/stores/lmnop-art-store

Friday, August 30, 2013

50 Years


“Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.”
 ~ Martin Luther King, JR
.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dakota Unity Ride 2013

Douglas Gladue, Wicahpi Aya Jaja Mani, One Who Walks with the Shining Stars from Dakota Tipi Nation explains the message behind the Dakota Unity Rides taking place this year on the East Coast and Midwest. This video was filmed in Connecticut during the Unity Riders east coast tour.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ta'Kaiya Blaney is Idle No More


This is a portrait of 13 year old environmental activist Ta'Kaiya Blaney from the Sliammon First Nation in British Columbia, Canada. She is a powerful voice for the next generation. She speaks for the waters, salmon and for the protection of Mother Earth. She's a powerful force to be reckoned with. She is a public speaker, singer and songwriter. 
Check out her website here: 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Moving Robes Woman



This is a new piece I put up on a wall in Queens this past weekend as part of a yearly celebration of art and community in Welling Court, Queens.
Look for it across the street from the Two Coves Community Garden on Astoria Blvd

This is my depiction in honor of Moving Robes Woman, an Hunkpapa Lakota warrior who is reported to have been the person who finally killed Custer in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Look her up. Fascinating life.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Got Free Speech?



in solidarity with all the people on the planet who are standing up for free speech.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The FSEEE Joins LMNOPi to Stand Up for Free Speech

A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a website. The Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics.
I thought "Oh, these are the people I want to know" When I looked at their home page, I found the article from Waging Non-Violence hanging out in their news feed. That gave me a very good feeling. Like I was in the right place.

I called them up and ended up speaking with Andy Stahl, their executive director. Turns out that he was part of the Sierra Club Legal Defense team that fought the US Forest Service in 1992 over the use of a Smokey parody and won. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be speaking to this person, incidentally the man behind the Spotted Owl lawsuits in the 90's that ended up saving 8 million acres of old growth forest.

He offered to take me under his wing, consult with the lawyers that won the previous case and support my work by posting a link to his blog directly to my online store. When I offered to give some of the money to his organization, he graciously refused. "We don't want your money. You are an artist, you earned it"
Finally, I thought, someone who gets it. Art is labor! Spreading an Anti-Fracking message is a good job. Way better than hanging corporate banners on the side of the stock exchange. (which is what I was doing, among other tv & theater gigs, for a living as a freelance stage hand for the last 10 years)

This is my Free Speech. This is protected under the US Constitution. This artwork is clearly a parody of the original Smokey. Not only is it a parody, but it is not really changing the original messaging of preventing wildfires. Smokey is legitimately concerned. "How will we put out a Forest Fire with Flammable Water??" he asks.

I have a feeling that there are many Forest Rangers that are, like me, in love with nature. That chose this work to be stewards of the land. I feel pretty confident that these loyal nature lovers do NOT want to see the Forests Fracked. They know and are part of an ever growing awareness that Fracking is not worth it. Not worth throwing away our health, our forests, clean water, clean air and the ability to live on the land for a few bucks and temporary jobs. I would be absolutely thrilled if any of these fine Forest Service employees would wear this Bear to show their support for clean air. Wear the shirt to work! Subvert the system. They will not fire you for wearing a shirt under your uniform, will they? :)

After consulting with his lawyer friends, Andy got back to me and explained that the US Forest Service must have learned something from their previous error. That by directly serving Lighthawk with a cease and desist order, the US Forest Service, as a government agency under the USDA, had violated the constitutional rights of those citizens engaging in their protected free speech. However, if a corporation serves a cease and desist letter for them, they are not actually violating anyone's freedom of speech. Yet. They essentially farmed out the cease and desist to the Metis Group as a way to intimidate me. Well, that didn't work, did it?

A couple of weeks after I received the original cease & desist letter from the Metis Group, having sent them a reply and not hearing back from them, my friend, lawyer Evan Sarzin, wrote the following letter:

This is the reply he got from the Metis Group:


Bluff much, US Forest Service?

Smokey is on strike.

When the US Forest Service institutes a permanent ban on Fracking in ALL our National Forests, he will come back to work. But don't think in the meantime he is slacking. No way, Jose. He is doing what any concerned citizen activist is doing these days: Agitating, Educating and Organizing. 

Do Your Job, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Protect the water, air and soil. Protect the Natural Heritage for the animals and the future generations of Humans. Don't sell out to the Fossil Fuel Corporations. Be on the right side of history!

Woody Owl, Woodsy's cousin agrees. Ban Fracking in ALL the National Forests, NOW!!

Contact your representatives and let them know that you support a permanent ban on Fracking in Your National Forests.
Contact Tom Vilsack
Phone: 1-202-720-3631
snail mail: 
United States Dept of Agriculture
Attn: Secretary Tom Vilsack
1400 Independence Ave SW
Room 200-A
Washington, DC
20250 
Currently under threat RIGHT NOW:
Join us in this fight to save the Forests for the plants, animals and future generations. 
This message was not endorsed by the USDA or the US Forest Service. 


Why Not? Good Question

Special Shout Out to the FSEEE for their solidarity!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

US Forest Service wants to Frack Smokey's Home

As activist/artists, we use art, coupled with a message in hopes of raising awareness about an issue. Sometimes we even use art to tempt arrest in order to amplify the message even more. This is what I would refer to as "Artistic Civil Disobedience".

Much like dropping a banner from the window of a fancy hotel where the Governor is giving a talk, or sneaking into a convention to do a magic trick, we risk arrest to amplify a message. A few weeks ago, an opportunity to take my artistic activism to the next level fell in my lap when the US Forest Service sent me a cease and desist letter in reference to a claim that my art was infringing upon their copyright. This is the equivalent of activist gold. Being threatened with 6 months in jail and a $150K fine is no chump change. This ups the ante in a way. This gives me as the artist/activist some leverage because it shows my commitment to the message when I risk arrest to spread this message. 

Some people might say that because I am selling t-shirts, it somehow diminishes this action. In my opinion, the fact that I am selling merchandise is the exact reason I got the attention of the US Forest Service. This is the civil disobedience inherent in the case. This is the means by which I can use this threat to amplify the message. It's not news worthy without the alleged law breaking.

I say "alleged" because through extensive research and consulting with some of the best lawyers in the country, it is becoming more and more clear to me that I am not actually breaking any law through selling or distributing online free of charge this parody of Smokey Bear. My parody falls squarely within the definition of "Fair Use"  Even if the meme goes so viral that people can never again look at Smokey without thinking "faucet fires" that does not matter if it is indeed a parody as determined by the definition used in legal terms:

  "Again, parody is given a slightly different fair use analysis with regard to the impact on the market. It’s possible that a parody may diminish or even destroy the market value of the original work. That is, the parody may be so good that the public can never take the original work seriously again. Although this may cause a loss of income, it’s not the same type of loss as when an infringer merely appropriates the work. As one judge explained, “The economic effect of a parody with which we are concerned is not its potential to destroy or diminish the market for the original—any bad review can have that effect—but whether it fulfills the demand for the original.” (Fisher v. Dees, 794 F.2d 432 (9th Cir. 1986).)

 The awesome part of this is that I am not actually breaking any law. This often happens in Civil Disobedience cases. We test the unjust laws or the wrongful enforcement of non-existent laws by allegedly breaking them. Their threats are empty threats designed simply to intimidate me. The US Forest Service has probably issued thousands of similar cease and desist letters to people all over the world in regards to Smokey. Not once has the US Forest Service actually sued an individual for copyright infringement. This is clearly an attempt to infringe upon my constitutional rights to free speech.

What sets this case apart from the multitude of C&D's they've sent out is context. I'm an activist and I refused to Cease and Desist. The parodies I created are intended to spread an anti fracking message. The Cease & Desist letter provided me with a huge opportunity to amplify this message. So after consulting with a lawyer, I decided to refuse. Instead, I enlisted the help of a willing attorney who wrote an initial letter (which I posted on a previous blog entry).

After he sent the letters, with his approval, I went public with this case. I made a blog post about it and a press release. I sent the press release out to an extensive list of media contacts. I had spoken with a friend who is the editor for Waging NonViolence on May Day about this case. He got excited about it. He assigned one of their writers to interview me about the case. This article: Forest Service seeks to silence Smokey the Bear over Fracking went viral and was republished by Salon.com, Truth Out, Alternet, Socialist Worker, Grist, Yes Magazine, FSEEE, Utne, GoGreenNation, Mother Earth News and countless others. Village Voice ran an interview on their blog. On social media Rainforest Action Network, The Other 98%, Seismologik, The Punk Patriot, Josh Fox & Gasland, Shale Shock and many others shared this story. I was careful to frame the press release to focus on the pending decision the US Forest Service is faced with in reference to the Ban on Fracking in question in George Washington National Forest.

The article in Waging Non Violence went viral. Now, if you google "Smokey" and "Fracking" you will see pages of stories about this case. This is exactly what I wanted to happen so that I could help shed a spotlight on the current state of Fracking in the National Forests. This is how we use art as activism. We amplify our message by allegedly breaking laws. How many times have activists used this strategy? Millions I would say.

I initiated this action without the support of a group or organization. I acted alone, somewhat spontaneously to take this calculated risk. Sometimes as activists we are forced to act autonomously without a group. It is during these times that it is most crucial for our communities of activists to stand behind us and support us. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to those in my community who have shown solidarity with me in this campaign.

Thank You!


this message was not approved by the USDA or the US Forest Service

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Civil Disobedience & the Bear

What if the bears rose up to defend their forest home? 
Protect Whistleblowers. Support the Bears.

The George Washington National Forest covers 960,000 acres in Virginia, with just over 100,000 acres in West Virginia. Water from this area provides drinking water for 4.75 million people downstream. Currently, there is a debate raging over whether the US Forest Service is going to institute a BAN on Fracking for the next 15 years in the George Washington National Forest. They are due to make a decision about it in June. 
Of the 53,000 public comments from around the nation received by the U.S. Forest Service, 95 percent support the ban. Yet the US Forest Service is showing signs of caving to the pressure by Gas & Oil Companies that cant see the forest for the oil.

Secretary of Agriculture at the USDA, Tom Vilsack, oversees the US Forest Service. Please drop him an email at agsec@usda.gov and urge him to go ahead with the Ban on Fracking in the George Washington National Forest. Heck, tell him that we need a Permanent Ban on Fracking in ALL of our National Forests.
They need to protect our natural resources for the sake of all the forest creatures as well as their human friends who depend on access to clean water to continue living!

List of National Forests either currently being leased for Fracking or under threat:

Allegheny National Forest (PA)
George Washington National Forest (WV & VA)
Wayne National Forest (Ohio)
Talladega National Forest (Alabama)
Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest (Colorado)
White River National Forest (Colorado)
The Bridger-Teton National Forest (Wyoming)

The Organic Act of 1897 provided the basis for the US Forest Service: 
It's main mission was established as: Timber production, watershed protection and forest protection.
Essentially, the US Forest Service's role is to manage and protect the forest resources for the people of the US. There is currently an alarming trend across the US of privatizing this publicly owned land.

Interestingly, much of the land which is presently under the stewardship of the US Forest Service was once private land. During the Great Depression, the government offered to buy up private land from people struggling to maintain their families. The govt wanted to stretch the budget they had so as to help as many people as possible, so they only bought the surface rights to the land. They did not purchase the mineral rights to save money and maximize the people they could send aid to.
Now the US Forest Service has jurisdiction over only the surface rights of the public lands. The Bureau of Land Management regulates the mineral rights. 


One solution to protecting the public good would be for the govt to declare eminent domain and to purchase all the mineral rights in order to keep the gas and oil in the ground. That is the best case scenario and really the healthiest choice for the future of our planet. 

From the FSEEE: Forest Service Employees with Environmental Ethics: 
"It is in Utah, however, that the movement to wrest control of public lands has progressed the furthest. Last year, the Transfer of Public Land Act was passed by the Utah legislature and signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert.
Like its brethren rebel states, Utah’s new law demands the federal government “extinguish” title to public lands by the end of 2013. But unlike similar legislation, the Utah law deputizes a newly-created state agency, the “Constitutional Defense Council,” to sue the federal government if the state’s demands are not met.
But the end game is not state ownership of our public lands. It is economic exploitation.
That goal can only be realized by selling off the public’s estate to the highest bidders. The reason is simple. These states simply can’t afford to manage federal lands—and they know it. The lawmakers promoting these bills want their states to be a pass-through for private interests to acquire this invaluable property.
Behind-the-scenes, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a think tank that is funded by corporate industries and promotes “free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments” has drafted model legislation to remove National Forest lands from the federal domain.
ALEC’s corporate advisory council includes major energy companies, such as Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy, that believe states would provide greater access than the federal government to timber, minerals, and federal oil, gas and coal reserves.
The biggest pote
ntial payoffs are underground oil and gas reserves, especially the vast deposits made commercially viable with new hydrofracking and horizontal drilling technology. With forty-three percent of U.S. oil reserves located on federal lands, the incentives could not be bigger for corporate America."

read more about this here:
#nocompromise #makemyday




Creative Commons License
Don't Frack Me, Bro by LMNOPI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

US Forest Service attempts to Suppress 1st Amendment

On April 25th, 2013, I received the following email:



This email was in response to some artwork I made last year which went fairly viral among the 
Anti Fracking Movement:
Upon receiving this letter, I called my friends at the NY Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. They directed me to a helpful person who directed me to Evan Sarzin, a NYC attorney who specializes in copyright law. He was kind enough to compose the following rebuttal letter as a pro bono favor to me because he believes my case has merit.




There was a time when I believed that the Forest Service really cared about the environment. I grew up with Smokey the Bear telling me 
"Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires"
They created this meme to inspire people to care about our Forests.
Well, it worked. I not only care about our Forests, I care about the water, air, soil, plants, animals and human communities which depend on the environment to live and thrive in this world. In the late 80's and 90's I participated in direct actions with Earth First! against the clear cutting of old growth forests. The US Forest Service failed to protect the forests then and now 
I have recently discovered that they want to Frack these same Forests that they ostensibly protect. 

That's right, The USDA Forest Service wants to Frack the Forests.

Read about it here:
 and here:

Considering their current position advocating for Fracking in our National Forests, it comes as little surprise that the USDA Forest Service is choosing to attempt to suppress this artist's 1st Amendment rights.
This fair use parody of Smokey the Bear is 
confronting them with their own cognitive dissonance.
I think it's time that Smokey was liberated from the cage of hypocrisy that the 
US Forest Service keeps him locked up in. 

To the US Forest Service I ask this question:
How can Smokey Bear put out a Forest Fire with Flaming Water??

To their attempt to censor me I say this:
No. 
I will not cease nor desist in my 1st Amendment right to engage in Political Speech.
I will continue to promote the protection of our environment.
I will continue to make art about whatever I chose to make art about.
I will not destroy it, delete it nor discontinue to distribute it.

Occupy Smokey 


If you would like to donate money to support a possible lawsuit, please go here:
Legal Support for LMNOPi


Postscript (May 16th, 2013)
I learned yesterday that my 1st Amendment Rights were not threatened, yet, because the US Forest Service didn't actually serve me a cease and desist letter. They hired a corporation to do it for them. Corporations can't violate the constitution by restricting free speech. The US Forest Service basically hired an accounting firm to attempt to intimidate me. I am not intimidated. Bring it on USDA, make my day.



Creative Commons License
Smokes Bear by LMNOPI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Save Our Seeds

We are entering an alarming age where the temperature on the planet keeps rising, resulting in extreme weather, super storms, drought and famine. Corporations rule the planet. One of the most insidious is Monsanto. Recently, I did a performance art piece exploring the theme of SOS. Traditionally, the emergency morse code sent out from ships which are sinking is SOS or Save Our Ship. Also sometimes interpreted as Save Our Souls. In this performance I posed a new definition of that acronym: Save Our Seeds.

Time to change plowshares into swords.


SOS.
Save Our Seeds,
Save Our Souls
Save Our Ship
Save Our Planet



performances were held at Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, NYC and the Living Theater in Manhattan
Photos courtesy of Dona Eunoia and Miao Jiaxin


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Silkscreen DIY Style






we have been mad busy printing in the print shop this week!


http://bit.ly/Lmnopi

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Only You Can Prevent Faucet Fires


This is the radicalization of my favorite friendly bear from childhood. Surely he would be willing to get arrested to protect the Earth from the corporate state?

I've finally opened a web store so people who love this design from all over the country can carry the message of the Radicalization of Smoke Bear in their community.

Ban Fracking NOW!



Buy Now

Monday, January 7, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Spray Paint on Canvas
Double sided banner, with slots for carrying poles
4.5' x 3.5'
for inquiries to use or to own
contact artist.proof at gmail.com


Creative Commons License
Martin Luther King, Jr by Lmnop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.