By Heather Harper I Borderline Press I July 5, 2016
The primaries are winding down. Three candidates are left standing; only one shall become president. One of the most interesting results of this unorthodox election season is the art produced by opponents and proponents of each candidate. Bernie appears to have the creatives on his side, while Hillary comes in close behind; but people making art in Trump’s name appear to only be interested in denigrating it.
Trump in the Nude – A few months ago, a young woman from Los Angeles created a nude painting of Trump which I surmise was inspired by Marge Simpson’s painting of Mr. Burns based on the pose and intent. This painting was so controversial that the artist, Illma Gore, was forced to leave the country and retire to London until things blew over. She probably should have stayed longer, however, because within a week of her return, she was assaulted on the street and punched in the face by Trump supporters.
Anti-Trump Propaganda – Some people are demonstrating their opposition to the presumed Republican candidate through graffiti and street art. A few months ago in Chicago, Bernie supporters painted over a large billboard to make it read Vote Bernie instead of Trump. Shortly after that, the billboard was painted over again to read “[expletive] Trump”. Just ahead of the Nebraska primary, an enormous “Dump Trump” was painted in block letters at the top of a grain elevator in Omaha off of I-80.
More Embarrassing Imagery – In Lithuania, a mural painted on the side of a restaurant shows Vladimir Putin and Trump involved in a loving embrace, called “Make Everything Great Again.” It’s hard to say whether this painting is more or less offensive than the mural in New York depicting the Donald as a pile of poop. In London, you’ll find a beautiful portrait of Trump. Upon closer inspection, it is covered in egg from people vandalizing it. As it turns out, the artist created it for that very purpose. In fact, the only “artwork” supporting him is graffiti defacing a mural, ironically titled, “Parade of Humanity,” located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
An American Icon – Whether you love her or not, Hillary is one of the most well-known women in the world. One mural created for the cause was unveiled in October 2015 in La Vegas, Nevada to the delight of the presumptive Democratic nominee. The eight-foot portrait is painted in gold and black, the colors of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. It was presented it to her in March 2016, while she was touring the training facility to receive their endorsement as presidential candidate.
“The Many Faces of Hillary” – The Hillary Project, based out of Miami Beach, Florida spans over 8 feet tall and 100 feet wide, includes over 250 original paintings of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and notably, is interactive. Visitors are invited to engage by painting a quote from Hillary on any blank space within the mural. Needless to say, this has invited both positive input as well as criticism from people participating in the dynamic artwork.
The Woman Who Really Loves Her – Sarah Sole is known for her internet-famous, and questionable, pieces featuring the Madam Secretary. Sole has portrayed Clinton as Marilyn Monroe, an ordained minister marrying a homosexual couple, and in other compromising positions. However, portrayal of candidates in the nude is a matter of sense, taste, and personal drive to display people as they see fit. As Marge Simpson saw it, painting Burns in the nude was an attempt to show his vulnerabilities; this is probably the real motivation of the artists who painted Trump and Hillary.
Skankin’ Bernie – During the primaries, creatives demonstrated their support for the self-proclaimed democratic socialist Senator using various mediums; in fact, an entire artists’ community emerged as a result. The most influential piece, arguably, known as Bernie Slamders, represents the counterculture Bernie himself has embraced as a political activist. Painted in Richmond, VA, the mural was completed in spring 2016.
Bernie the Flower Child – In January, a yuuuge Sanders float emerged during the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA, which is famously known for its mobile, floral presentations. The Bernie float was the only one to represent any of the candidates during the parade. However, Trump’s name still managed to make a semi-appearance when an unidentified prankster defamed him with sky-#writing.
A Disappearing Middle Class – In probably the strongest representation of the Sanders message, an ice sculpture, “Morning in America” melts away while a recording of one of Bernie’s speeches is played to the sound of a violin. It begins with a fully-formed “middle class,” just like in America, but as the speech progresses, the middle class begins to crumble; just like in America. Finally, the middle class disappears at the end of the video.
If artwork is any indication of how the creatives of this nation really feel, it is safe to say Bernie is the candidate of the people. Regardless of who the candidate is, however, make sure to get out and vote in November – even if you have to write your candidate’s name on the ballot come Election day.
Heather Harper is an AN Contributor and veteran writer. Most of her interests center in the non-fiction realm where she strives to use her “strength of the pen” to advocate on various social issues and causes. Learn more about Heather’s contributions to her writing craft.
*My twitter handle: @ExistentialMed
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