This Is How Maurizio Cattelan, Nicole Eisenman, and Hank Willis Thomas See the Election

Fifteen of your favorite artists designed political posters.

Maurizio Cattelan. Courtesy W Magazine.
Maurizio Cattelan. Courtesy W Magazine.

On the occasion of W Magazine’s 10th anniversary art issue, arts and culture director Diane Solway commissioned 15 artists to design political campaign posters in response to the presidential race. And with election day fast-approaching, the magazine’s new series couldn’t be more timely.

“I chose contemporary artists whose work engages with political themes and popular culture,” Solway told artnet News in an email. “The idea was to work with a variety of them to push their practices and bring them to new audiences, not simply to hire artists to lend an aura. Some worked solo; others wanted to team up. It was also important to present a mix of perspectives.”

Among the star-studded roster of artists invited to participate is Italian rabble-rouser Maurizio Cattelan, whose oeuvre of provocative works this year encompasses a live donkey at Frieze New York and a 18-karat-gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum, titled America (it’s own kind of commentary on the election?) In typical, tongue-in-cheek fashion, Cattelan offers an image of a $100 bill with a duck’s head tearing through Benjamin Franklin’s portrait, against an American flag background. Solway described the image as “suggesting the quackery threatening our most revered symbols.”

Nina Chanel Abney. Courtesy <em>W Magazine</em>.

Nina Chanel Abney. Courtesy W Magazine.

Pop painter Nina Chanel Abney, meanwhile, whose depictions of police brutality and gun violence have been tied to the Black Lives Matter movement, develops some of the same” Rendered against a bright yellow background, three facial profiles painted in black anchor a collage-like configuration of various solid-colored shapes of hearts, handguns, and arrows, along with texts that read “stop” and “2.”

Nicole Eisenman. Courtesy <em>W Magazine</em>.

Ridykeulous (Nicole Eisenman and A.L. Steiner). Courtesy W Magazine.

Notably, a handful of the artists including Nicole Eisenman, A.L. Steiner, and Goshka Macuga, opted to take the humorous route. At the center of Eisenman and Steiner’s computer-generated horizontal design is a black-and-white image of a gun barrel pointing out at the viewer. The photograph is surrounded by satirical advertisements and texts that read “FREEDUMB; “SAD EAGLE FOR VP!;” and “2BIG2 NVR NOT FAIL,” as well as a top banner that reads “GUN FOR PRESIDENT!” Below, a sea of sleeping emojis doze off in a barren red wasteland.

Goshka Macuga. Courtesy <em>W Magazine</em>.

Goshka Macuga. Courtesy W Magazine.

Macuga’s poster, pictured above, speaks for itself.

Courtesy W Magazine.

Courtesy W Magazine.

According to a press statement, fans can find these designs in the magazine’s 10th anniversary issue; the posters will also be on public display in various locations across  New York and Los Angeles in what the magazine calls “wild postings.”

With a roster that also counts George Condo, Elmgreen & Dragset, Raymond Pettibon, Marcel Dzama, Hank Willis Thomas, Jeremy Deller, Kathryn Andrews, Sanya Kantarovsky, and Zoë Buckman, they’ll be sure to catch the eye in the lead up to the big day.


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