International Artscum Blog

Artistical statement

1. December 2017 | Comment

Karen Fiorito

These images were created for a 2-sided billboard in Phoenix, AZ. The larger and more dramatic one, Trumpocalypse, expresses what a large majority of the population feel, as do many people around the globe. That feeling is fear, fear of losing our rights, our freedoms, our environment, our land, our water, our livelihoods, and ultimately our planet.

These fears are expressed by the mushroom clown imagery and also through the use of a very simple and powerful design that I borrowed from a fellow artist and activist, Hugh Gran. This symbol is that of a dollar sign cleverly resembling a swastika. The swasti-dollar symbol is meant to represent how greed and corruption rule our society through multi-million dollar corporations and paid politicians. Hugh made this graphic in response to George Bush, Jr.’s illegal election, and I always admired its creativity and genius.

I choose this symbol because we have a powerful businessman in power who wants total control of our government to suit his and his friends’ (and family’s) business interests. This man is trying to do away with our personal freedoms, including Freedom of the Press and Free Speech. This man does not care about who he hurts. In fact he has done nothing but fuel hate speech. Some of his followers have even taken to violence, and even so, he does not repudiate them. His cabinet is full of white supremacists and extremists. He is trying to ban Muslims and deport Mexicans. He is trying to destroy the environment and all the animals. He attacks the judiciary branch of our government, an integral part of our and any democracy. His ties to Russia are numerous and obvious (This is why he wears a Russian flag lapel pin.) He did not win the popular vote. These are facts, not alternative facts, which are falsehoods.

For all these reasons, I, like many others, feel we are living in dark times, similar to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. Thank God we do not, but many fear that this is the direction we are going. I love this country and fear for its future; that is why I created this work. This is a warning to our nation: do not let Fascism win. The second side is another board on which the word UNITY is in both English and American Sign Language. This is the “positive” side of the situation. This man has united many people and groups together in opposition to him. We are always stronger together and I believe if we unite we will defeat this evil. No matter what your color, race, creed or gender may be, there are more of us than there are of them. We can and will overcome!

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