Someone recently pointed out to me how similar Stephanie Syjuco’s new project International Orange is to my project Feminine Protection of 1997.  I was asked if she knew the work and how I felt about what in their eyes was so blatantly “copied” – and was I offended.  This of course made me giggle given that much of the conceptual framework in Stephanie’s work is based on “copying” and questions of “intellectual or aesthetic property.” So NO, I wasn’t offended … and yes, she knew the work – or at least she did fifteen years ago when we were both students at SFAI … but what I really thought was – 1) Damn! I wish I would have known how to use that graphics program then to do the layout for the installation – so much cleaner and crisper than the gouache drawings I did; and 2) how nice it was that someone remembered Feminine Protection since it was 15 years ago!!! … but I love that work can resurrect in the most unexpected ways.

Stephanie Syjuco, International Orange, Seventy-six pages of colorblocked text and images from an original 1937 publication for the opening ceremony of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Megan Wilson, Feminine Protection, 1997, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, 224 pages of email exchanges between myself and two lovers (one male, one female), using moleskin as an editing device to cover all identities and anything that made me feel vulnerable (quite unexpected as to what I did and did not cover).

Megan Wilson, gouache drawing for Feminine Protection, 1997, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, 224 pages of email exchanges between myself and two lovers (one male, one female), using moleskin as an editing device to cover all identities and anything that made me feel vulnerable (quite unexpected as to what I did and did not cover).

Stephanie Syjuco, International Orange, Seventy-six pages of colorblocked text and images from an original 1937 publication for the opening ceremony of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Megan Wilson, Feminine Protection, 1997, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, 224 pages of email exchanges between myself and two lovers (one male, one female), using moleskin as an editing device to cover all identities and anything that made me feel vulnerable (quite unexpected as to what I did and did not cover).

Stephanie Syjuco, International Orange, Seventy-six pages of colorblocked text and images from an original 1937 publication for the opening ceremony of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Megan Wilson, announcement for  Feminine Protection, 1997, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute.

Hey folks – this is a new project I launched in November 2011. Please help spread the word! I’ll be starting a Kickstarter in 2012 to raise funds to support the 99% and put some unemployed artists & sign painters back to work. Also, if you have additional languages that you could provide translation for – it would be super appreciated!

Big THANKS to translators and translator connectors: Eliza Barrios, Carolyn Castaño, Sarita Ahuja, Andre Ambrus, Srinivas Kuruganti, Kevin Chen, Violeta Krasni, Peter Haas, Taraneh Hemami, Juan Caguicla, Nano Warsono, Saideh Eftekhari, Christine Ahn, Ramon Murrillo, and Jake Thompson.

99%
99% is a public art/street art project that speaks to the need for a fundamental shift in the status quo approach to current economic models, labor, the environment, human rights, and the health and wellbeing of all. In support of the OCCUPY! movement, I am making a series of hand painted signs (1000 to start) with the statement “We Are The 99%” in different languages (so far I have English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Hebrew, Hungarian, German, Roma, Serbian/ Bosnian/ Croatian, Russian, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, French, Italian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Yiddish, Haitian, Swahili, Georgian, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese, Tamil, Armenian, Urdu, Estonian, Khmer, Burmese, Shoshone, Cherokee, and Sioux).

The signs all have bold black text on a color background painted on ¼” plywood in varying sizes. These are being distributed initially in San Francisco and Oakland to:

1. OccupySF and Occupy Oakland participants to be used at marches and protests – participants will be asked to display their signs in their home windows when not in use.
2. Folks who might not have time to participate in the actual occupation, but want to lend support – to place in their windows in solidarity of the movement.
3. Small businesses to place in their windows in support and solidarity of the movement.

I am working to raise the funds to employ assistants (artists/sign painters who are currently unemployed) at $20/hour (a livable wage in the Bay Area) to help create and distribute the signs.

The project will also be presented in Southeast Asia in 2012.

WE ARE THE 99% ARTISTS!

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.