Kustera Projects, a gallery in Red Hook, Brooklyn, put out a “call to action” inviting artists locally and around the country to express their views of President Trump. The response was quick and powerful, and likely not something the new president would approve.
More than 60 artists, most locally, but from cities as far off as Portland, Ore., sent drawings, paintings, sculpture, and mixed media installations in an exhibit titled, appropriately, “A Call to Action.” The works fill the gallery’s walls to deliver compelling and dramatic messages on the current state of affairs. And it’s not, to put it mildly, an upbeat take.
One striking drawing entitled What a Uge Chumpion by Nicasio Fernandez depicts our Commander in Chief with half of his body in a garbage can. In one hand, he’s wearing a boxing glove and is punching himself in the face as blood runs from his ears, eyes, and nose and knocks out one of his teeth. A goofy looking man with an elongated nose carries a sign reading “Loser” and pointing at Trump while holding up Trump’s other arm. On the wall behind them is an American flag, and a painting of Trump raising his arm while he’s hit on the head by a UFO.
(L-R) Nicasio Fernandez, Franz Vila and Niki Singleton
Another artwork that speaks volumes is the framed print Nasty Grrrl Baby by Niki Singleton. The image depicts a female figure curled up in a ball like a baby in the womb with disparaging messages against girls and women written on one side such as “But… I don’t want to have a girl, they’re emotional and unpredictable” or “You’re a dirty animal.” On the other side of the female figure are empowering messages such as “Don’t worry honey! Our daughter is going to be a force to be reckoned with! A full on… Nasty Woman!!” Meanwhile, the body itself is embedded with a variety of images such as those from women’s marches across the country.
A similarly framed print by Franz Vila entitled Republican Brand speaks volumes about the hypocritical values the artist sees in the party. The background consists of several designs of the Confederate flag and a figure dressed in black in the center, with Trump’s frightening eyes coming through. Blunt renditions of Republican ideals also cover the image with sayings such as “No Abortions, Unformed Humans Are Sacred” and “Born Humans Are Disposable, More Weapons, More War, More Killings!” and “The Super Rich Pay For Our Elections, To Them We Must Serve.”
Besides sending an important message, this exhibition brings together many artists who work with many different types of media, with all of them united in expressing the same idea in his or her own unique way. A Call to Action is currently on view at Kustera Projects, 57 Wolcott Street, through Feb. 26. The gallery is open Thurs.-Sun. from 12-6 p.m.
A Call To Action at Kustera Projects
Feb 11- Feb 26, 2017
57 Wolcott street, Brooklyn NY 11231
Writing by Alison Martin
Photographs provided by the gallery and Arte Fuse.