White Lies Matter
Publisher : iUniverse
Paperback : 138 pages
ISBN-10 : 1663210950
ISBN-13 : 978-1663210951
Artist and art professor, John A. O’Connor, characterizes his series White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism as “a history of American hypocrisy.” Using the image of the slate as a consistent base, White Lies Matter ranges across historical and contemporary America, touching down at flash points of inequality, misunderstanding, and conflict. From the gradual decay of national institutions to more immediate political crises, O’Connor’s project traverses a list of illegalities and cover-ups, oppressions and suppressions, tracing links between individuals and institutions in positions of influence. It begins with Christopher Columbus and the First Thanksgiving—mythologies that crumble very easily by now—and moves on through the contradictory and belated embedding of religion in the nation’s founding documents, to the calamitous installation of Donald Trump as its 45th president. White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism reveals the deceptions, lies, and cynicism of America and the ‘fake news’ and ‘alt- facts’ that permeate contemporary society. —Michael Wilson
Note: Michael Wilson is a New York-based writer and editor and the author of How to Read Contemporary Art: Experiencing the Art of the 21st Century (New York: Abrams, 2013).
Praise for White Lies Matter
Primarily recognized for his Chalkboard Series, a group of works that repeatedly question the boundaries between reality and illusion, John A. O’Connor is an artist who believes that it is very important to re-establish the artist’s historical contributions to the formation of public policy and social justice issues.
A closer look at the art reveals layers of meaning. The details seem subtly balanced between ‘found’ and slyly, sarcastically ‘manufactured,’ a style the artist calls ‘conceptual realism’ with which he conveys an uneasy, compromised American past with the madness exposed. — David Todd
White Lies Matter will have you think of your past, present, and future as a citizen of this world. In the book, John A. O’Connor touches on issues that affect the common man, politics of the day, history, and America as a nation. This book was an interesting read not only because the author is articulate in his writing, but also because he talks about reality in an interesting way. As a reader, you are able to grasp the content in the book without difficulties as the author goes the extra mile to explain unfamiliar concepts for the reader. White Lies Matter will open your eyes and helps you understand why America is run the way it is.
John A. O’Connor mentions a number of past and present leaders that have been in government and their roles in policymaking. He highlights their strengths as well as their failures. When talking about past leadership, the author is very specific with the information he gives, something that I admired in him as from his text, one can tell that the mainstream media sometimes conspires with the government to hide the truth from the people.
I like the arrangement of the book as it has 60 different plates; images that have interesting texts. The pictures and words on the plates are attention-grabbing, inspirational, funny, educational and can get one to be curious about certain topics. The inclusion of the plates was a genius idea as they not only increase the aesthetic value of the book but also complement the discussions in the book. Every plate is different with unique symbols and pictures. Through the plates, John A. O’Connor takes the reader on a ride through history, talking about iconic individuals in history.
The political themes in the book were my favorite. As a reader, you get to learn that politics is imperative and relevant even for people that swear to be apolitical. Politics affect our day-to-day life and that is why all citizens should be concerned with the subject. The reader also learns that governments do not always move the way they should.
There are a dozen other subjects that are connected with the main theme in the book. Learning how America as a country is, her people, and how the world views it was fascinating. Other subjects that I enjoyed reading about in the book include freedom, equality, capitalism, independence, religion, and art. I appreciate the author for fusing politics and art to make his points clear. As a reader, I fully enjoyed the discussions in the book and loved the artwork even more. White Lies Matter is a refreshing and enlightening book.
– Literary Titans