'Ripped From The Headlines' Exhibit Takes Over FAT Village Art Gallery

May 9, 2019

A new art exhibit inspired by the daily barrage of news headlines is open at the FAT Village Art Gallery in Fort Lauderdale. The ‘Ripped From the Headlines’ art exhibit features work by 19 artists.

A massive white brick wall stops visitors at the entrance. This wall is nearly 24 feet long and stands eight feet tall, made of some 200 bricks, each one containing a tweet from President Donald Trump.

The backside of the wall is covered with multicolor sticky notes, on which visitors are welcome to tell their own 'Me Too' stories. 

Artists also explore gun violence, Black Lives Matter, the environment, immigration, racism and more. 

“I felt that if we took all of these works, all of these different issues, and put them together in one space it would be a really powerful show," said Elle Schorr, the curator of the show. "I think it is." 

The majority of artists had never met each other, but Schorr says it's been beautiful to see them come together and bring their own unique perspectives on similar issues.

“I think many artists are desperately seeking ways to engage in the conversation about the events taking place in our world today and express the feelings they have,” Schorr said.

FAT Village is a privately owned and funded art space. The building is 8,000 square feet with no air conditioning, and majority of the walls are cinderblock.

Schorr says the venue provides a liberating space for artists. The building is non-commercial, so artists are not forced to sell pieces. Artists are encouraged to create on a large scale.

Artist Randy Burman created an installation titled 'Dance to Fascism.' A screen displays a live performance Burman did several months ago, where he shred large paper signs with words that encompass different values and rights. 'Children' and 'empathy' are among the values being shredded. Meanwhile, three people dance around him and hand him these signs. Surrounding the screen are swastikas painted on a red, white and blue background. Burman says his design is a mockery of a Nazi rally that took place in Madison Square Garden in 1939.

Burman says the United States is quickly becoming a fascist society. 

We are this close to being a fascist nation. I want people to be alarmed at what they see. People should be shocked out of their complacence,” Burman said. 

Burman says he hopes his viewers leave asking “What the Hell?” but also with a sense of awareness.

Schorr says many visitors are quiet during their time at the exhibit, because it is a heavy environment with a lot to process. But she says she believes the exhibit sparks conversations between friends and families outside of FAT Village’s walls.

“Ripped from the Headlines” will be on display until June 29, but the exhibit is only open to the public during scheduled Art Walks.

Correction: The original version of this story did not credit Adriano Ficarelli as photographer. We regret the error.