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Philly Street Artists React to the Election of Donald J. Trump

November 23, 2016


(New wheatepaste titled ‘Inauguration’ by Joe Boruchow)

Little more than two weeks after the Electoral College declared Donald J. Trump the President-Elect of the United States, Philly street artists are beginning to react.

In his new wheatepaste titled ‘Inauguration’ (pictured above), paper cutout artist Joe Boruchow shows a much more ominous depiction of Donald Trump than he had perviously created in any of the trio of anti-Trump pieces he made this past summer. As Joe tells me, he felt his original depictions of Trump were ‘too cutesy.’ See for yourself here.

In an Instagram post revealing this new wheatepaste design, Joe wrote:

“It won’t be ok. Regular life is over. Work to obstruct, defy and resist.” 

As is probably pretty obvious to anyone reading this post, lots of people – lots of artists, creatives, and people from marginalized communities especially – share Joe’s dismay and anger at the election of Trump, including myself. And, in perhaps a tiny bright spot on this otherwise entirely shitty (to say the least) moment, I think that anger is quickly turning into motivation to unite those communities and organize against what may very well be a Far-right swing in our Federal government.

In their latest “Dear Friend/Survivor” series that came out this week, the Philly-based feminist activist group Pussy Division released a number of wheatpastes that reached out to many of those communities.


(New “Dear Friend/Survivor” wheatepaste series by Pussy Division)

And speaking of working fast to organize, Pussy Division has already created a Go Fund Me asking for support:

“We refuse to accept the hatred stemming from this election as the new normal.”

“In light of recent events in our country and the subsequent increase of hatred toward marginalized groups, Pussy Division needs to act fast. We’re asking for financial help to cover the costs of our supplies for this year so that we can get to action now without our ideas for expression being stifled by a lack of funds.”

The election of Donald Trump has even spurred at least one Philly street artists who typically avoids politics in his work…


(New wheatepaste by Nero One)

After running into Nero‘s latest wheatpaste, I knew it spoke to me as a reaction and a rally cry against Trump, but I asked Nero himself to make sure that that was indeed the intent:

“I’m usually not one to voice my political views in my work, however this piece was indirectly related to the election results and the current situation our nation is facing. I tried to give that piece a double meaning so it could apply to more people. But yes to me personally it was about Trump.”

I can only suspect (and hope!) that we’ll begin to see more and more of Philly’s street art community – and the street art/art community at large – coming out and getting more actively political in their work over the coming months and years. Fuck Donald Trump and the hate that he represents. Fuck the Electoral College for failing America yet again. Fuck.

As sad as I’ve been the last couple of weeks, I can’t begin to tell you how uplifting it is to see our streets reflect the mix of anger and hope that I have. I fully believe in the idiom, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And I think it’s time to get squeaky, y’all!

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