The Relevance of Pre-Raphaelite (and Older) Art to Contemporary Society

Most of today’s troubling social, economic, and political issues are extraordinarily complex, a consequence of which is that some Americans exert little or no effort in trying to understand them, let alone participate in efforts of social change. The pre-Raphaelite artists emerged around 1848 during an uprising for social reform in Britain and strived to create work characterized by detail, bright colors and a subject matter of noble or moralizing nature. Amidst political upheaval and social ills, the movement sought to inspire artistic renewal and moral reform.

Michael Fischerkeller, Torpedo Factory Visiting Artist from Upper Marlboro, MD, appropriates images from pre-Raphaelite artwork into his street-art inspired paintings to elegantly represent contemporary issues and motivate citizens to act to improve their worlds and those of others.

Fischerkeller’s artwork has been in over two-dozen juried exhibits across the United States and has shown locally at Touchstone Gallery in D.C., Underground Gallery and Target Gallery in Virginia, and Brentwood Arts Exchange and University of Maryland in Maryland. He has three solo exhibitions forthcoming in 2016 in New York, Chicago, and Alexandria. Fischerkeller will talk about his appropriation strategy at the Morrison House on July 7, at 7:00 p.m.

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