Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Drone Street Art: The Essam Attia Fundraiser

 (please click to enlarge photos!)

Last week I went to a fundraiser for Essam Attia, the artist behind the NYPD drone street art series.  Though I am not a great big fan of street art in general, as it mostly tends to be meaningless and self-referential, I wanted to meet Attia because I had been following his work over the last year and found it intriguing.  These included several Thomas Jefferson quote stencils that I photographed, here, here, and here, the 'NYPD' Drone Activity in Progress sign, and a 'Wanted Poster' for Totalitarian Barack Hussein Obama and Mitt Romney that was posted around my neighborhood during the presidential campaign.
It wasn't until Attia was arrested for his fake NYPD propaganda posters that I was able to tie all of his work together.
Essam Attia is charged with 56 counts of possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny and possession of an unloaded .22 caliber revolver, which was found under his bed when his apartment in Manhattan was raided.  The fundraiser was a silent auction arranged to help pay his legal fees.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
... he explained that he first became familiar with drones during his tour in Iraq. "I was in Iraq between 2003 and 2006 and I was a geospatial analyst—a mapmaker. There were only three Predator drones then. They were just used for surveillance, and at the time, I thought, like, 'Wow, this is an amazing technology.' But we've obviously seen that perverted, you know? American citizens are being killed by drone strikes without due process," he said.
Unexpectedly, Mr. Attia sounded almost ecstatic about his own time in the military: "I got into it to pay for my education at SVA, which my family didn't have the means to do, but I learned so much and had an amazing time. I met some of my best friends in the world there." 

Here are just a few examples of the art that was donated for auction.

Posters and t-shirts were also for sale.  If you are interested in any of the art visit: Free ESSAM

In the below video Essam Attia is introduced.

The place was packed from wall to wall.  There was an open bar, a DJ and a music show with several bands that took place downstairs later that night.

Looking around at all the people tightly packed into the gallery who where there to support Essam Attia; artists, musicians, hipsters, models, scene-makers, all I kept thinking was, "If all of these people here are so concerned with our freedom and civil liberties, then why the Hell do they keep voting for Progressive Totalitarians like Barry Predator Drone Obama and Mayor Nanny Bloomberg?"


Anonymous AFree American said...

"If all of these people here are so concerned with our freedom and civil liberties, then why the Hell do they keep voting for Progressive Totalitarians like Barry Predator Drone Obama and Mayor Nanny Bloomberg?"

Would have asking this question immediately revealed an inconvenient truth causing the self-proclaimed most tolerant & pacifist amongst us to intolerantly eject you violently from the party?

March 19, 2013 2:59 PM  
Blogger Urban Infidel said...

To A Free American,

Yes, I did in fact, discuss that very thing with one of the people there. He looked at me like I had two heads. I could tell he knew I was right, but he was too confounded by the truth to concede.

March 19, 2013 3:10 PM  
Anonymous AFree American said...

You witnessed a Liberal experiencing what is described by modern psychology as cognitive dissonance (the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions). In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel "disequilibrium": frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc. The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent belief in an impending apocalypse.

March 19, 2013 8:10 PM  
Blogger Urban Infidel said...

I was kind, to be sure. So I didn't press it. I made my point soft and clear. Which isn't easy in a loud room.

As for Attia, I had long had him pegged as a rogue art school libertarian. And that's a very rare and fine thing to be -- a true independent.

His experience in the military gave him real world lessons.

March 19, 2013 9:10 PM  
Blogger Mikey Lee said...

Great question UI! and I know the look...

March 20, 2013 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Quixote said...

As I indicated on several sites when Essam was arrested, the New York speech cops have clearly decided to criminalize any kind of provocative satire that is embarrassing to influential members of the community, and the first concrete result of this policy is the "identity theft" prosecution of Raphael Golb, who said that which must not be said and provoked the ire of the authorities by sending out "Gmail confessions" in which he portrayed an NYU department chairman as accusing himself of plagiarism. For further information on the ongoing appeal of the case, see the documentation at:


April 27, 2013 1:13 AM  

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