Super PAC uses art to foster political debate

Image 1 of 4

In an election year political advertising is all around us. One unconventional super PAC is engaging the public in a political discussion through art. Like all registered super PACs, the purpose of For Freedoms is political fundraising but they are not endorsing or opposing a particular candidate yet.

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asserted everyone is entitled to four freedoms. Seventy five years later that speech is sparking an unexpected political movement.

Photographers Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman hope to bridge the gap between politics and art by forming the first artist-run political action committee named after those four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. They want to investigate what those freedoms look like in the 21st Century.

Over 50 artists are participating in the effort. Each is offering artistic renderings of the hot button topics of today -- gun violence, reproductive rights and the black lives matter movement. Most of the pieces you can't touch. But some are hands on. 

Artist Trevor Paglen is expressing his own skepticism about the election process through this fully functioning voter registration booth.

Hank and Eric plan to turn these pieces into advertisements across the country. They've already raised over $100,000 towards that goal.

The works are currently on display at the Jack Shainman Galleries on 24th Street and 20th Street in Chelsea.