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In a former life, John Vincent was a cop. Now, the white-pony-tailed, 67-year-old lives in New Haven and operates A Revolutionary Press. As that name might suggest, it's an old-school print studio where Vincent creates radical posters featuring quotes from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and scholar-monk Thomas Merton. With a focus on using letterpress techniques in the 21st century and experimental artistic methods, A Revolutionary Press seeks to disseminate radical and revolutionary ideals through printed broadsides.
John Vincent would say that much of his printing efforts result in artwork which arises from his critical thinking about the world, specifically this country. By using historical and contemporary thoughts, quotes, ideas and essays as text and integrating color, image, and experimental positioning of letters, he attempts to present work which can be viewed not only artistically but also intellectually, and which further suggests to the viewer, as well as the artist, that we constantly reconsider what each of us believes to be the Truth. In doing so, he hopes that the seemingly lost art of reasoned and rational discourse will be rediscovered, thus allowing for more humane interactions. In other words, he says “Let’s all stop shouting (and shooting) at one another.”
The Revolutionary Press is pleased to announce it was recently granted 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit status. The Press looks to donate to nonprofits which are doing the "real work" on issues which coincide with the broadsides the Press chooses to print. For instance, the "Why Do I Need A War if I Only Want to Grow A Carrot" lines up well with the Farmer Veteran Coalition mission this year, so that's where the profits from that broadside will go. Previously donations from this piece went to Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and Combat Paper Project.
Vincent sells those prints — in sizes from postcards to posters — in a few stores around the state. After covering printing costs, he donates the proceeds to organizations such as Courage to Resist and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Another recipient, he said, has been a prison library in Massachusetts that houses a collection of Merton's works.
At least 75% of all the money the Press receives gets donated. The rest goes for paper, ink, equipment, exhibit fees for artist markets. Vincent doesn't take any salary. He is hoping to get closer to a 90% figure if he can cut costs for printing supplies, or even have them donated, which may be possible now that the Press is 501(c)(3).