Art of the Union

Hello, my name is Mitchell. I am an artist and writer creating politically charged content. My goal is to use art and humor to introduce people to politics and history.

Ask me anything.

View my portfolio.
Follow me on Twitter.
Like me on Facebook.
See me on Instagram.
  • February 24, 2013 8:48 pm
    This Tuesday is scheduled to be the Senate vote for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, finally one step closer to the ending of this incredible storyline and letting Hagel take the nap that his face has been screaming for since it started.
You are probably familiar with the accusations that have been trotted out against Hagel, everything from the Dan Friedman “Friends of Hamas” joke that went viral in the Senate halls to the idea that Hagel hates Jews (the monster probably didn’t even cry during Schindler’s List). Tactics that don’t even involve Hagel have been used to block Hagel, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham vowing to block the nomination until he receives more information about Benghazi. Don’t worry though, every other embassy attack during 2012 is ok in Graham’s book.
Most of the holdups on Hagel’s nomination have been purely cosmetic, an effort by a handful of Republicans to make sure we know they still exist after the election. But then you get to the real criticism against Hagel, and it seems that he is being punished for being ahead of the curve when it comes to disowning George W. Bush.
The Tea Party movement and new Republican ideology was (supposedly) spawned in part by a party upset with the direction that had been taken under Bush’s lead. And don’t forget that the 2012 Republican National Convention hid Bush in a closet like was a young Harry Potter. And yet, Hagel is being put to task for his tendency to go against the Bush Administration, primarily when it came to the Iraq War.
Fast forward 2009, and the whole Republican party had turned their negative opinions of everything that happened during the Bush Administration into the Tea Party movement. Anti-immigration, anti-government, and anti-spending. Logic would tell you that Hagel would be the “not in the mainstream” wet dream that Republicans are always trying to brew up in their dusty cauldrons.
Unfortunatley for Hagel it seems that he was ahead of the trend. And as with fashion, no one gets credit for predicting a trend, it’s not cool until it’s accepted by groups in the know. Hating Bush 10 years ago only made Hagel the guy in a coffee shop with a handle bar mustache trying too hard. 

    This Tuesday is scheduled to be the Senate vote for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, finally one step closer to the ending of this incredible storyline and letting Hagel take the nap that his face has been screaming for since it started.

    You are probably familiar with the accusations that have been trotted out against Hagel, everything from the Dan Friedman “Friends of Hamas” joke that went viral in the Senate halls to the idea that Hagel hates Jews (the monster probably didn’t even cry during Schindler’s List). Tactics that don’t even involve Hagel have been used to block Hagel, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham vowing to block the nomination until he receives more information about Benghazi. Don’t worry though, every other embassy attack during 2012 is ok in Graham’s book.

    Most of the holdups on Hagel’s nomination have been purely cosmetic, an effort by a handful of Republicans to make sure we know they still exist after the election. But then you get to the real criticism against Hagel, and it seems that he is being punished for being ahead of the curve when it comes to disowning George W. Bush.

    The Tea Party movement and new Republican ideology was (supposedly) spawned in part by a party upset with the direction that had been taken under Bush’s lead. And don’t forget that the 2012 Republican National Convention hid Bush in a closet like was a young Harry Potter. And yet, Hagel is being put to task for his tendency to go against the Bush Administration, primarily when it came to the Iraq War.

    Fast forward 2009, and the whole Republican party had turned their negative opinions of everything that happened during the Bush Administration into the Tea Party movement. Anti-immigration, anti-government, and anti-spending. Logic would tell you that Hagel would be the “not in the mainstream” wet dream that Republicans are always trying to brew up in their dusty cauldrons.

    Unfortunatley for Hagel it seems that he was ahead of the trend. And as with fashion, no one gets credit for predicting a trend, it’s not cool until it’s accepted by groups in the know. Hating Bush 10 years ago only made Hagel the guy in a coffee shop with a handle bar mustache trying too hard. 

  • October 11, 2012 7:47 pm

    So this and last month have been sparse on posts, I apologize. I work at a political strategy firm and naturally working long nights during the election cycle comes with the territory. I’m bummed that I am not able to keep up on the blog right now but come next month and election day ends, I will be back to blogging art and opinion regularly. To fill some time, here is a comparison post. It gives a bit of insight into my process and where I draw inspiration from.

  • August 9, 2012 6:46 pm
    I was recently approached to do a drawing of President Obama for the mayor of my birth town. My first reaction to this was “It’s not going to be used in a smear campaign, is it?” That’s when I learned the shocking bit of information that the mayor was a Democrat and he wanted it to hang in his office. Mayor Shawn Hogan of Hornell, NY holds the record for being the longest serving mayor in New York State. Hogan has held the office since 1986 in a very conservative town, being elected each time on a Democratic ticket.
This so surprised me because this is a community that is tied to conservative ideology. It has a citizenship that voted to completely defund all extra-curricular activities for its school district and had police stakeout a newly opened hookah shop out of fears that it would sell bath salts. Morning church goers turn into evening gun owners, and practice both with equal zeal.
While I may be shocked, I am even more honored to have my art hanging on the walls of an elected official. The fact that Mayor Hogan found my work as a mark on my birthplace enjoyable enough to put on display makes me very proud. View high resolution

    I was recently approached to do a drawing of President Obama for the mayor of my birth town. My first reaction to this was “It’s not going to be used in a smear campaign, is it?” That’s when I learned the shocking bit of information that the mayor was a Democrat and he wanted it to hang in his office. Mayor Shawn Hogan of Hornell, NY holds the record for being the longest serving mayor in New York State. Hogan has held the office since 1986 in a very conservative town, being elected each time on a Democratic ticket.

    This so surprised me because this is a community that is tied to conservative ideology. It has a citizenship that voted to completely defund all extra-curricular activities for its school district and had police stakeout a newly opened hookah shop out of fears that it would sell bath salts. Morning church goers turn into evening gun owners, and practice both with equal zeal.

    While I may be shocked, I am even more honored to have my art hanging on the walls of an elected official. The fact that Mayor Hogan found my work as a mark on my birthplace enjoyable enough to put on display makes me very proud.

  • July 17, 2012 5:54 pm
    This weeks hack is my much maligned governor, Rick Scott. The governing q-tip of Florida stands charged with covering up a Center for Disease Control report of a massive tuberculosis outbreak in Duvall County ahead of the state’s closure of the last TB hospital in Florida. The A.G. Holley State Hospital closed three months after the report was issued despite the fact that politicians had no knowledge of the report, nor had the report been made public. The hospital is yet another victim to the scorched earth policy Florida has enacted when it comes to state spending, although you would think Scott could have kept the hospital open with his rainy day fund he got from previously screwing over medical goers.
Have you not heard? Prior to being elected governor, Rick Scott was part of the biggest Medicare fraud in U.S. history. Scott’s old company, Columbia/HCA, shystered the U.S. government and was fined $1.7 billion. Even with this allegation at their fingertips, Florida voters still managed to vote in one half of the sticky bandits as their governor. That’s why the hospital had to shut down, all the money to keep it open is being hidden in a vault along side Rick Scott’s eyebrows and and his conscious.

    This weeks hack is my much maligned governor, Rick Scott. The governing q-tip of Florida stands charged with covering up a Center for Disease Control report of a massive tuberculosis outbreak in Duvall County ahead of the state’s closure of the last TB hospital in Florida. The A.G. Holley State Hospital closed three months after the report was issued despite the fact that politicians had no knowledge of the report, nor had the report been made public. The hospital is yet another victim to the scorched earth policy Florida has enacted when it comes to state spending, although you would think Scott could have kept the hospital open with his rainy day fund he got from previously screwing over medical goers.

    Have you not heard? Prior to being elected governor, Rick Scott was part of the biggest Medicare fraud in U.S. history. Scott’s old company, Columbia/HCA, shystered the U.S. government and was fined $1.7 billion. Even with this allegation at their fingertips, Florida voters still managed to vote in one half of the sticky bandits as their governor. That’s why the hospital had to shut down, all the money to keep it open is being hidden in a vault along side Rick Scott’s eyebrows and and his conscious.

  • May 27, 2012 5:34 pm
    Welcome to Art of the Union’s very first installment of “Hack of the Week.” Our first ever hack of the week award goes to the president of Americans for Tax Reform — Grover Norquist. On Monday, May 21, Norquist equated actions taken to combat tax evasion to Nazism.
Norquist was referring to the “Ex-Patriot Act,” introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer after Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin dodged $67 million in taxes by renouncing his American citizenship. To Norquist, requiring someone to pay their taxes warrants the same kind of insults that a student would scrawl on a bathroom stall about a math teacher who gives homework on weekends. When asked for a follow up comment Norquist responded that “Schumer was no longer invited to his slumber party,” and closed with a very forceful “nana-nana booboo.”

    Welcome to Art of the Union’s very first installment of “Hack of the Week.” Our first ever hack of the week award goes to the president of Americans for Tax Reform — Grover Norquist. On Monday, May 21, Norquist equated actions taken to combat tax evasion to Nazism.

    Norquist was referring to the “Ex-Patriot Act,” introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer after Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin dodged $67 million in taxes by renouncing his American citizenship. To Norquist, requiring someone to pay their taxes warrants the same kind of insults that a student would scrawl on a bathroom stall about a math teacher who gives homework on weekends. When asked for a follow up comment Norquist responded that “Schumer was no longer invited to his slumber party,” and closed with a very forceful “nana-nana booboo.”

  • March 24, 2012 8:21 pm

    Here is my promised process post. I start by drawing the basics in pencil. I then proceed to ink the borders and outlying elements such as his tie and hair. After inking, I go in and fill the major elements like eyes, mouth, and nose. Then, I draw out all of the shapes that I see inside the subject. Once those are drawn, I proceed to fill in the shapes, not piece by piece but rather making them overlap. I save the ears for last as those are my least favorite thing to draw.

  • March 11, 2012 6:13 pm
    I’m finally getting things settled down here in Florida so I should be able to start creating new content to post regularly soon. Also, for those who have been asking, I have not forgotten about progress shots and will capture each step of my next drawing. For now, I will leave you with this older drawing of Dwight D. Eisenhower. View high resolution

    I’m finally getting things settled down here in Florida so I should be able to start creating new content to post regularly soon. Also, for those who have been asking, I have not forgotten about progress shots and will capture each step of my next drawing. For now, I will leave you with this older drawing of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

  • February 12, 2012 1:57 pm
    This will be my last post for a while. I finally found a full-time job and will be dedicating the next month(s) to getting settled. I have been hired at a political advertising firm in Florida and have to uproot from New York which will be no easy task but is incredibly exciting. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found a job in politics. Anyways, after I get everything situated I plan to get this blog back to what I intended, informative/funny art and essays instead of having to fish back through my old art to fill space. Until then, I leave you with this sketch of JFK. 

    This will be my last post for a while. I finally found a full-time job and will be dedicating the next month(s) to getting settled. I have been hired at a political advertising firm in Florida and have to uproot from New York which will be no easy task but is incredibly exciting. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found a job in politics. Anyways, after I get everything situated I plan to get this blog back to what I intended, informative/funny art and essays instead of having to fish back through my old art to fill space. Until then, I leave you with this sketch of JFK. 

  • July 5, 2011 4:32 pm
    Here is a portrait I did of JFK. Netflix finally has The Kennedys on instant watch. It’s amazing how much Greg Kinnear looks like Kennedy, and so far his portrayal of my favorite American has not let me down.

    Here is a portrait I did of JFK. Netflix finally has The Kennedys on instant watch. It’s amazing how much Greg Kinnear looks like Kennedy, and so far his portrayal of my favorite American has not let me down.