Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Pop art meets politics in Safety Harbor

SAFETY HARBOR

Political preferences aside, it's hard not to crack a smile at artist Nancy Pollock's red, white and blue mosaic elephant with tusks made of rolled dollar bills and a tail made of club ties.

Yep, it's a Republican.

And her sparkling mirrored television set with a shoe smashed into the screen? Well it's a high-heeled hoot.

"Politics, Patriotism and Pop Art," presented by Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, is a refreshing look at the lighter, brighter side of politics and patriotism.

"This is our first political show," said owner Susan Benjamin, "and I thought it would be fun to bring together things that were unusual and fun."

The exhibition was designed to welcome an expected 50,000 visitors and 15,000 journalists to the Republican National Convention.

The show opens with a reception tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. and runs through Sept. 29. Featured are the political and patriotic works of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists like Dr. Seuss, Peter Max, Nancy Pollock, James Rizzi and Michael Vollbracht. All artwork is available for purchase.

The art in the show is not only for Republicans — it expresses a wide variety of political viewpoints and humor.

"I did try to be politically correct," Benjamin said.

Safety Harbor's own celeb artist, Michael Vollbracht, fashion designer to such greats as Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters, Cher and more, has created some works specifically for the show, including a collage that features every Republican president from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush.

Pop master Peter Max has contributed a selection of Lady Liberty and American flag paintings, all super-saturated in psychedelic colors.

Bernie Taupin, an award-winning lyricist, poet and singer best known for his collaboration with Elton John, also is fab with a paintbrush. Be sure to see his patriotic flag piece called "Rise."

Original World War I posters are on display and range in price from $100 to $800, depending on the condition and rarity.

And what collection of political satire would be complete without a sampling of Dr. Seuss' limited edition prints?

"We just want to celebrate how exciting it is to have the Republican National Convention in our area," Benjamin said. "I've heard it's like having five Super Bowls."

Correspondent Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at [email protected]

   
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