Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Obama Campaign hops on the "Great opportunity for exposure!" Bandwagon

The local Obama campaign office posted this on craigslist:

The East Henrico OFA office is in need of a local artist willing to come and paint some of our campaign office walls for the election. 
We have the supplies and permission to paint some of our blank walls and need someone talented and willing to come help out the OFA team and get President Obama re-elected. This is a great opportunity for an artist to gain exposure as many people are going to be coming into the office and seeing their work between now and the election. 
If you or someone you know would be right for this please contact us! Our Office is located at 4719 Nine Mile Rd in the Basement of the McEachin & Gee Law Firm. Please email or call us at 937-4725.  

Here is my response to them:

I am writing to you in response to your posting on craiglist seeking an artist for the campaign office.

I am an Obama supporter, voted for him in the first election, and intend to vote for him again, without hesitation.

However, I am terribly disappointed in your post. The Obama campaign has raised $690 million dollars as of August according to the NY Times. That money is being spent on high end advertising firms, network advertising time, youtube ads, Hulu ads, and just about every other place it is possible to squeeze and ad before a viewer.

Here is an opportunity to hire someone locally... a member of the 47%, to create original artwork for your campaign office. The good will generated in the artist community in Richmond would go a long way to generating support. Instead, you are repeating the tired phrase of "great opportunity for exposure". Here's a newsflash... the entire world is selling the same thing you are... opportunity for exposure. Artists are dying of exposure.

When considering commissioning an artist, one should use a variation on Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative; assume everyone else is asking for the same thing you are asking for. An artist who is exposed as "working for free" will certainly generate more opportunities... to work for free. If this is the economy the Obama administration is promoting, perhaps my unquestioning vote needs to be reviewed.

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