Recently Four Corner gallery invited Peter Kennard to a talk on power of political art. In this talk he has talked about his iconic political photomontage carrier which he started in sixties.
As a prominent British political artist with a career spanning almost a half century Peter Kennard is a leading practitioner of photomontage and many of his works became icons of protest in recent times either as fly posters, protest placards or T-shirts in support of a variety of groups, including the CND and Amnesty International.
In this seminar he talked about how he started is long career and methods he has used in the high day of photography and dark room and explained how he accomplished some of his iconic photomontage like the image of earth with a chemical mask and the famous cruise missile photomontage of the haywire of Constable.
In a serious of his works he has used statistics from United Nation’s statistics on poverty around the world and the spending on military and arm race around the world and he has used these numbers in a very creative way in a series of photomontages. These are very powerful images that talk to the viewer directly and tell the world how the money and wealth a directed in a wrong direction and that mismanagement has caused more poverty, ciaos and casualties around the world.
He also talked about how nowadays the advance in digital print and media has helped many other artist to use the technique of photomontage and he showed some of the photomontage that have been done using Photoshop verses the one that have been done using the traditional method of photography, cutting and collaging manually.
I like his work as they engage with the viewer directly and give a very strong and direct message of anti-war using a very simple and clear yet very powerful tool which is photomontage.
Peter Kennard’s collaboration with artist Kat Philips has produced series of works among them the most famous one is the photo of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair taken a selfie image in front of the ball of fire which was a protect against the Iraq war.