Publisher: Freedom Voices
Released: February 1, 2012
Hobos to Street People offers a comparison of the culture and politics of homelessness as seen through artwork since the Great Depression. The book is based on the touring exhibition of the same name that first opened in early 2009—the time of the greatest economic downturn since the 1929 Stock Market Crash. As the numbers of people living in poverty continues to swell, this book looks to the past for lessons for today.
A wide range of artists have brought attention to the issue, including historical figures such as Rockwell Kent, Fritz Eichenberg, Jacob Burck, Dorothea Lange and contemporary artists Kiki Smith, Sandow Birk, Eric Drooker and many more. The text, written by artist and curator Art Hazelwood, places the artwork within the history of social and political responses from the New Deal, through McCarthyism, to the rise of modern homelessness in the 1980s.
Sections of the book focus on different aspects of homelessness including day to day life, displacement, rural poverty and political struggle. Emphasis is also given to the means by which artists have been able to get their message out whether through publications, government programs of the New Deal, street posters, exhibitions, or alliances with activist groups.