A chronicle of the life and political activism of artist Thomas W. Benton with 150 images of his artwork. Benton´s silkscreen posters cataloged political movements and elections from 1968 to 2006 and are a powerful visual account of the issues and campaigns that shaped history. In addition to numerous candidates and issues in Aspen, Colorado, Benton created political posters for presidential candidates George McGovern and Gary Hart, and against President Nixon. The book includes never-before-published images of the Aspen Wallposters, a collaboration of Benton´s art and Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson´s writing that promoted their Freak Power movement. Benton´s later works, including abstract silkscreens, monotypes and paintings, are also explored in relation to the artist´s life and philosophies. The book also includes Benton´s commercial work in Aspen as a signmaker/printmaker, his architectural projects in Colorado and ten poems by close friend and lyricist Joe Henry.
This is an invaluable compilation of artistic expression that captures the passions and the visions of a dynamic period in our lives.
Tom Benton´s avant-garde anti-war, cause, and political posters place him in the center of a small number of great propaganada artists of the last century. Even those quite knowledgable of poster art will be treated to dozens of posters rarely seen, if at all. This well-designed book is a major contribution to the history of political art.
Tom Benton integrated strong and powerful graphic symbolism into the political fray of our times. His simple yet monumental approach to what needed to be said gave a voice to those who wished to be seen and heard. He remains a powerful example of commitment in a world gone wrong.
Book available at the Gonzo Gallery