Why Is An Anonymous Brooklyn Street Artist Producing Anti-Hillary Clinton Posters?
As Hillary Clinton prepared to formally launch her presidential campaign on Sunday afternoon, a Brooklyn street artist was busy pasting anti-Clinton signs throughout the borough, which happens to be where the hopeful candidate plans to set up campaign headquarters.
Reminiscent of the instantly recognizable Barack Obama “Hope” posters that Shephard Fairey created for the president’s 2008 campaign (and Fairey’s other political posters—see Shepard Fairey Creates Ai Weiwei Poster to Fund Free Speech Organization), the Clinton signs are decidedly less flattering, showing the presidential candidate’s face in harsh black-and-white tones, with a cheesy painterly effect. The image is flanked by the text “Don’t Say. . .” followed by a variety of negative adjectives often used to describe Clinton, including “Entitled,” “Ambitious,” and “Secretive.”
The signs began to appear around Brooklyn on Saturday night, and have been heavily documented on social media.
The campaign riffs on a letter sent by a group of Clinton supporters to various news outlets claiming that they will be “watching, reading and protesting coded sexism” in the form of words like “polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over confident.”
It’s unclear whether the creator of the signs is using them to protest Clinton’s candidacy or target the threats by Hillary supporters against journalists using these specific words. Perhaps both?
Time magazine recently profiled residents of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood where Clinton is reportedly setting up shop, and many of them were less than thrilled about the news.
“It means more inconvenience, more traffic, more hassle, but she doesn’t care,” said local art dealer Philip Stevenson. “You can write that I find her loathsome.”
The art world has been largely supportive of Barack Obama, with Shepard Fairey, Rob Pruitt, and other artists using the president as a frequent subject (see Rob Pruitt’s Massive Obama Installation to Debut at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Obama Is First 3-D Scanned and Printed President). And that’s not to say artists haven’t treated Clinton with more graciousness. Tracey Moffat created a more refined homage in her 2005 work Hillary R. Clinton from the Under the sign of Scorpio series in which the artist donned a costume to appear as her subject and photoshopped herself against a celestial backdrop.
However, if this sign is any indication, it looks like Clinton may struggle to drum up the same level of support from creatives this time around.
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