CANVASS 44: Excerpts from an “INSIDE LOOK: Grey Williamson and the Making of the Renegade Obama Bust”

CARBON-FIBRE MEDIA (CFM): WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO A BUST OF PRESIDENT OBAMA?

GREY WILLIAMSON: After Barack Obama became President, it started. I watched as an unprecedented attempt at dehumanization took place with no respect for the man or the office that he held. I had seen these types of attacks before… I knew what they felt like.

History revealed that neither Malcolm X nor MLK had aspirations toward fame and fortune. Neither actively sought personal recognition. But when faced with extreme adversity they were forced to make choices of character.

It’s then that their greatness expressed itself. It was then that their true selves were revealed… and the hero emerged.

Seeing President Obama under monstrous but familiar assault, I respected the power of the moment and decided to bear witness to it…

I was struck by the strength he displayed, maintaining his character in the face of hate. I wanted to communicate how I was affected by that strength and the intensity of focus… I felt like he was fighting my fight… carrying my weight. So, I wanted to give something in return. The best that I have is my art…

Artwork becomes a part of history. Because of my ability and the uniqueness of my perspective, I couldn’t wait for someone else to capture what was happening at this time. I wanted to do my part.

Ogi Gogi Bot Ogi Gogi Bot

CFM: HOW DID YOU SETTLE ON THIS DESIGN… HIS EXPRESSION… HIS POSTURE…?

GREY: I wanted to portray the inner qualities of the man. I asked myself how does his wife see him, because she married him… how does a wife want to see her husband. I tried to stay true to that.

I selected the posture of a boxer because he is currently engaged in the fight of his life. His pose is reminiscent of the fighting style of Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather or someone like that.

Aim High Bot

CFM: SOME MIGHT SAY “RENEGADE” IS AN APPROPRIATE NAME FOR THE BUST SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS BROUGHT “UNWANTED” CHANGE TO AMERICA. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

GREY: I would say that change here more represents growth and progress. I don’t believe that people, in general, object to that, they just don’t want the pain often associated with it. Although I am not responsible for that moniker being placed on him, I chose it for the bust for what it could mean as a statement against the conventional thinking of the “old guard” who still believe that extreme separation between the classes still serves them.

I believe that the Obama presidency represents a paradigm shift, a “change” in perception… the effects of which will be felt beyond our lifetimes.

Read the full interview on Carbon-Fibre Media’s blog, The Ethyr.

Additional pictures of the Renegade Obama bust can be viewed on Carbon-Fibre Media’s showcase.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Grey Williamson has worked as a writer, artist and designer for almost every major comic publisher in the comic industry. He formed Carbon-Fibre Media as a home for his entertainment properties and productions.

Kilroy III makes his professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with his work on the Apollo, Val-Mar and Renegade busts. He has multiple projects under development that can be viewed on his blog, Kilroy’s Attic.

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Obamabot 2.0: Obamacat, Bed-Stuy 2012, Mo’Bama Blues

In response to my description of the “obamabot” toy robot as capturing the essence of Obama as opposed to his likeness, my 3-year old godson corrected me, “Noooo! Not the essence of Obama… PRESIDENT Obama!”

I love that kid.

Obamacrats… I mean, Obamacats… OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Yes, this is Lion-O. Not Lionel. And although I lost my geek card because I did not know that, I was still inspired by the Thundercats and my President. It may be tempting for some to turn “Lion-O” into “Lyin’ O” but I couldn’t resist. The entire “obamabot” concept actually began with the idea of turning something negative into something more positive.

Obamacat

Obamacat

Bed-Stuy for Obama. Not to be presumptuous about an entire neighborhood… but around my way, the pictures in storefronts and parlour floor windows speak for themselves…

Bed Stuy 2012

Bed Stuy 2012

Mo’Better… Mo’Bama… or was that “No’Bama”…? The irony of this “co-opt” concept was that I stumbled across many derogatory terms for the President on twitter searching under the term “Obama lover.” Hmmm… Brooklyn Blue Dems, stand up!

Mo'Bama Blues

Mo’Bama Blues

DIYs will be available soon so you can customize your own Obamabot to fit your botitude.

All designs are available on t-shirts and various accessories on our CANVASS 44 store for the benefit of Organizing for America, Partners in Health and BVSJ.

Thanks for reading!

~ Onjena

#sayitLOUD #registertovote #spreadLOVE

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Onjena makes her professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with her line of toy robots called “O’BOTS” and a line of political t-shirts for CANVASS 44. She is also an amateur scrapbooker. 

Eric Nocella Diaz, under his company, GoldMane Entertainment, in addition to publishing comic books and graphic novels, develops prototype sculptures, maquettes, statues, busts, designer resin collectibles and toys.

Obamabot 2.0: First of Many, Optimist Prime, Hana Hou, Obamanator

Presenting… Obamabot 2.0 aka Operation Co-Opt. We, “Obamabots” support our President, not out of blind faith, but out of a foundation of trust. So call us what you will… We know it’s bigger than politics…

Here are some designs of the Obamabot collectible toy… coming soon.

The first of many…

First of Many

First of Many

For the eternal optimist…

Optimist Prime :: Obamabot 2.0

Optimist Prime

And the skeptics among us…

Skeptical :: Obamabot 2.0

Skeptical

“Hana Hou” is a common Hawaiian expression meaning “One more time!”

Hana Hou:: Obamabot 2.0

Hana Hou

He’ll be back…

Obamanator:: Obamabot 2.0

Obamanator

DIYs will be available too so you can customize your own Obamabot toy to fit your botitude.

All designs are available on t-shirts and various accessories on our CANVASS 44 store for the benefit of Organizing for America, Partners in Health and BVSJ.

Thanks for reading!

~ Onjena

#sayitLOUD #registertovote #spreadLOVE

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Onjena makes her professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with her line of toy robots called “O’BOTS” and a line of political t-shirts for CANVASS 44. She is also an amateur scrapbooker. 

Eric Nocella Diaz, under his company, GoldMane Entertainment, in addition to publishing comic books and graphic novels, develops prototype sculptures, maquettes, statues, busts, designer resin collectibles and toys.