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New Philly Street Artist Installs Wheatpaste Celebrating the Women Who Ran for Office in 2018

December 23, 2018

A big new wheatpaste from Philly street art newcomer Hysterical Men (HM) celebrates the strength and leadership of the women who ran for office in the 2018 Midterm Elections. HM invited me out to shoot her installing the paste, which is located at 5th and Bainbridge streets in Queen Village. And we chatted over email the following day:

“After the 2018 Midterm Elections I was so inspired by all the women who ran for office, won their elections, and took back the House. I was especially captivated by the many women of color who ran. So I created a piece to honor them using words that are accurate and fitting for women: ‘Strength and Leadership.’ I included the names of all the Democratic women who won their mid-term races and featured portraits of Representatives-elect Lauren Underwood, Lucy McBath, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sharice Davids, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Debra Haaland, and Jahana Hayes.”

“My alias Hysterical Men is a result of my rage at the way the Kavanaugh hearings unfolded,” HM responded when I asked more about her why she’s using the alias she is, and about her first series of wheatpastes that I never caught myself in person and therefore never got the chance to blog about. “Watching the hysterical, unhinged and petulant behavior of Brett Kavanaugh and the Republican senators interviewing him was deeply troubling. Their unacceptable behavior stood out in stark contrast to Dr. Blasey Ford‘s composure, strength and dignity.”

“I began to draw rage-induced portraits of the old, white men screaming, crying and sulking as a means of coping. As I drew I became more and more fixated on the idea that all the inappropriate behaviors exhibited by these men were negative stereotypes that are routinely assigned to women. These stereotypes are deeply harmful to women, hold us back in our careers and lives and impact our development as people. And yet here were these powerful men, behaving this way with total impunity, and making decisions that impact women’s’ lives, bodies and well-being while they did it.”

“I wanted to turn these harmful stereotypes around on the men who actually embody them as a way of pointing out their hypocrisy and incompetence. So I labeled my rage portraits with these stereotypes and called them Hysterical Men. The first place I chose to place the Hysterical Men were around Symone Salib‘s amazing portraits of Christine Blasey Ford and Anita Hill (with Symone’s blessing.) The response I got was amazing and I had more ideas so I decided to keep going and keep the name Hysterical Men as my alias.”

Thanks so much for inviting me along and chatting, HM, hope to see much more from you around Philly in the future!

P.s. You can read more about the “All Together” installation also in the photo above here!

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