My neighbor and friend Roxanne Zidell puts her money and her mouth into what she believes is right for the working class people. I am constantly amazed by Roxanne for her conviction in supporting human rights. Be it rallying in support of Planned Parenthood and Social Security/ Medicare to attending demonstrations against the orange Hitler and his administration, She is there in support of liberal causes. Her artwork is amazing and speaks for itself... Here is my interview with the amazing Roxanne Zidell.
Punk Globe: Thanks for doing the interview Roxanne. You wear so many hats Activist, Artist, Cook and Comedienne is there nothing that you can't do?
Roxanne: Well… I can’t do Algebra, play guitar or skateboard… I really wish I could do those things.
Punk Globe: You and SueDenaim were avid Bernie Sanders supporters. You and SueDenaim went to most all of his rally's photographing him. This lead to a book. Tell us about the book?
Roxanne: SueDenaim is honestly the hardest working photographer I have ever known. I’m not just saying that because he’s my prince charming. He shoots only film. He develops and scans all the film himself, he crops-in-camera and is meticulous about every shot being perfect. You have to make every shot count when you are shooting film. From all the events he worked on for Bernie Sanders, the California progressive movement and so many other protest and marches he accumulated a beautiful body of work that produced his two books: Bernie on Film. He also protested the DNC convention in Philadelphia and then released his latest book: The DNC on Film. Both of his books really give you this amazing feeling of empowerment, as if you are there at these events. The enthusiasm he catches in those images is are raw and not at all staged.
Punk Globe: You got to know a lot of his supporters and saw the huge crowds that were rallying around him. It seemed like he was sure in for the Democratic nomination. How did you feel when the Wiki leaks surfaced?
Roxanne: I felt sick and really angry. I was angry at the content of the e-mails and the DNC’s reluctance to admit they really did rig the primary, took very little responsibility owning up to it, continued to push their candidate of supreme privilege and blamed Russian hackers immediately when the leaks happened. It’s like when you blame a camera for being made in Russia because it filmed you stealing a car out of the dealership. I think that it’s ludicrous that the DNC still depends on superdelgates and the pledges they take to undermine the will of the people they serve and push forward a neo-liberal, flawed candidate that will keep their luxury trains running on time. It just has to stop.
Punk Globe: You and your boyfriend SueDenaim recently went to the Women's March in Washington D.C. . Tell the readers about your trip?
Roxanne: I have never been to a protest that big in my life, I will never forget it. There were so many people. There were a lot of pink hats. I wasn’t into the pink hat and I didn’t wear one. I’m focused on issues and how Trump and his men are eroding away the rights of women all over the world. I just wasn’t in the mood to wear pink. I wore a black furry hat and marched with my middle finger in the air. Washington DC was covered in women and men that took to the streets to mock Trump. It worked too. The Woman’s March was gargantuan in attendance compared to Trump’s inauguration. It hurt Trump’s little feelings and I’m glad I was there with everyone else. We blocked traffic, danced in the streets, sang, burned sage, prayed and it was beautiful. The night before the Woman’s March was NOT peaceful. I was out in the streets with some very angry anti-Trump protesters and they were pissed off. We were blocking traffic, setting trash cans on fire (well, I didn’t start any fires but I danced around them) a limo was set on fire, I was inches from getting maced and tear gassed by militant cops , there was a naked dude who got arrested and he was crying. It was wild. What set my temper over the edge was seeing all the rich Trump assholes dressed up and heading over to the Inauguration Ball. All of them were super rich and super white, even whiter than me white. I taunted them and asked if they were going to the Nazi Ball and they just walked by with their little pointed noses in the air. At one point, all the protesters started running the streets trying to get to the Inauguration Ball to shut that shit down. The cops of course surrounded us and SueDenaim and I were lucky to avoid being arrested that night
Punk Globe: How long in advance had you planned the trip? Was it hard getting a place to stay there?
Roxanne: We planned the trip a few months in advance and we were lucky to have a good friend who lived 30 minutes from DC so we stayed with him. I know lodging was hard to find for a lot of people.
Punk Globe: You were also there for the Tangerine Terrorist inauguration. You saw first hand the lies he has been saying about the huge crowd he were there to support him.
Roxanne: The Crowing of the Orange Hitler was half empty. There was a lot of open space. I could have done cartwheels all over the fucking place because there was that much EMPTY SPACE… Most of the crowd that was there was closer to the front of the Capitol Building. That was the most BORING part of the trip. That was a whack-ass inauguration. It fucking sucked.
Punk Globe: You were in D.C. for a few days. Tell us about how intense protesters were against the inauguration?
Roxanne: The protest at night is what I was in. It was REALLY angry. There was a park we went to that had bands playing really angry local punk bands and then we went into the streets and blocked up traffic, people were setting fires, the police were all suited up in their riot gear ready to crack our heads open. I saw vans pulling up all over the place with riot police jumping out and then filling up those same vans with arrested protesters. We were running wild through the streets trying to outrun the cops and get to the Inauguration Ball. We were trying to destroy the whole scene. What really made me mad was the cops were spraying pepper spray at mostly women. I feel like that was intentional. Seeing women getting pepper sprayed in the face, gagging and getting sick was really fucked up. It made me understand that the cops want to hurt women first to deescalate a situation – because they know if they hurt women, everything comes to halt. It’s disgusting how the police are so violent.
Punk Globe: You were recently invited to be a featured speaker to help save Medicare, Tell us about the rally?
Roxanne: I spoke to a rally of several hundred people in front of City Hall this past weekend about Social Security and Medicare. A lot of what I spoke about was how federal cuts and federal hiring freezes to both programs hurts the clients I serve. The wait times to get hearings scheduled have doubled in the past 3 years. I expect it to get worse under Trump’s rule. I also spoke about how Social Security and Medicare are tied in together. You would be shocked at how many people don’t know that.
Punk Globe: You also work with a law firm who deal with Social Security rights so you know firsthand about the plight that many people are facing.. I commend you for your hard work.
Roxanne: Awwww thanks, it’s hard and stressful but worth it.
Punk Globe: Now tell the readers about your work as an Artist I have seen some of your paintings and also your work with dolls... Give us more details
Roxanne: When I started doing art shows in Hollywood in my early 20’s I started to paint more human figures but they always looked very doll-like and had sad looking faces. I did do some college, studied art and law, but I dropped out and ended up doing a lot of humanitarian work with non-profits and working in law firms in elder and social security/medicare law. It’s a little weird being a paralegal by day and an artist by night. Having to compete with men in the art scene I tried to keep up with the boys by paintings gore, blood, guts and creepy stuff, but that’s just not me. I do it, it sells but I guess deep down I’m just a sad doll with a blank stare. I just want to paint dolls, bunnies, crows and mice doing evil things. I mainly paint in acrylic and oils. Right now I am a resident artist at the Hive Gallery and Studios in Downtown Los Angeles where I have my own little work studio. I love being there and working, it’s so nice to have somewhere peaceful to work and be around so many amazing artists. I’m a total nobody, sometimes I wonder why I’m even there.
Punk Globe: How long have you been involved with doing art?
Roxanne: I have been doing art since I was a kid. I was very mouthy in school when I was a kid and used to get sent out of class a lot so there was a lot of time for me to draw stuff to look like I was busy. I really hated school. I didn’t want to have friends. I just didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be alone so I could paint, color with my crayons, draw and play with my dolls. I don’t think much has really changed (that’s kinda bad huh?). Girls annoyed me and they were always trying to pretend to me nice to me. I always found forming relationships with girls to be difficult because I grew up with two brothers and no sisters so I was the only girl and didn’t understand the catty antics of girls and all the gossiping they did as a kid. I just wasn’t having any of that phony shit. I come from a family of doll collectors so my dolls where my homegurls. They never talked shit behind my back, they were pretty and they listened to me. I started off painting a lot of landscapes and animals and dolls in my late teens because I hated everything, I was mad at the world and just wanted to be outside with nature and I’m still the same in many ways.
Punk Globe: When I saw you at that extravaganza at the Punk Museum, you were also designing clothes. Are you still doing that?
Roxanne: Oh yes! I really like to find really ugly, dated wedding dressed and recondition them. I do love to sew and I sew some simple patterns. Everyone should learn how to use a sewing machine, you can do so many things and make your own clothes and tailor them to fit you perfectly. I do burlesque shows sometimes and I like to design my own costumes as well.
Punk Globe: Any designers who have inspired you?
Roxanne: I’m not sure about any particular designers but I am really inspired by Gunne Sax and Jessica McClintoc’s dresses from 1960’s to the early 1980’s. I’d say that the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s had the best designs. I love ugly, slutty, vintage dresses too.
Punk Globe: Do you have any Internet addresses to share so that readers can find out more about what you are doing?
Roxanne: I have a facebook page: Art By Roxanne Zidell here is the link https://www.facebook.com/Art-by-Roxanne-Zidell-383413215023406/ and I’m always posting stuff I’m doing on Instagram, my handle is Pale_Lace … Here is my eBay Store address http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/282352682251?
I’m not a huge Facebook person. My life is lived mostly offline.
Punk Globe: I know that there is a Big Cartel store for the Bernie Sanders book please give us that address as well.
Roxanne: Yes, you can see all SueDenaim’s books that are available here: http://suedenaim.bigcartel.com/products
Punk Globe: Tell us about what is ahead for you for the rest of 2017?
Roxanne: Well… I just don’t know, everything is so crazy right now with this insane new president and all his Nazi friends in office. I think I’m going to just focus on my art and selling my art so I can donate more money to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. I’m a bit of a nihilist most of the time so you might catch me with a bucket of popcorn watching the world burn and laughing like a lunatic. We are living in crazy times.
Punk Globe: Well as I said I admire all that you do for the community and the country... Any last words for Punk Globe readers?
Roxanne: Stay in the streets and resist and fight fascism. Read about socialism and understand that capitalism is eating itself. Know your rights and fight for the rights of the poor, elderly and people of color. Make time to do what makes you happy. Find something that you are good at and do it better than anyone else. Lastly, live a healthy lifestyle and try to have a plant based diet… because being sick and/or injured in this ass-backwards country is expensive.