It’s no secret that here at str34m, we are huge fans of the increasing amount of protest art that utilizes the power of imagery, video, illustration, and many other artistic tools, to convey meaningful messages of protest and activism. In this featurette, we will be exploring two of our favorite protest artists, or collectives, that are active today.
EMMI KAT JOHNSON
Emmi Kat Johnson is an illustrator that received her BFA in Media Arts from the Art Institute of Seattle. She is an outspoken artist that wraps her viewpoints and messages in sometimes shocking, but relatable illustrations.
She is active on social media, and you can follow her art on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more at her official link portfolio.
TRUMP STATUE INITIATIVE
We first learned about the Trump Statue Initiative when images from their first guerilla art installation in Washington, D.C. started making the rounds on social media. The artist collective is led by two-time Academy Award-nominated writer/director Bryan Buckley, and they use pop-up, “living statue” performance art installations to put an artistic highlight on some of President Trump’s most notably inept moments.
The collective’s installations feature performers and props completely covered in gold paint (a recurring theme), and large pedestals that title each piece, and act as a stage, or “statue” base. The first appearance in D.C. featured “The Poser,” a nod to Trump’s clearing of protestors with tear gas to pose with a bible; “Back to School,” which showed Trump using a golf club to direct a masked student to return to school amidst a pandemic; and “The Bunker,” which featured the president clutching a Teddy Bear, in reference to his retreat to a secure area within the White House when protestors made their way onto the lawn.
Str34m was able to meet up with the collective during their “Ode to Putin” performance in Portland, and Lightbrush was even able to use TSI‘s 3D “Special Advisor Putin” statue in “Donny Troompa and the Cop Hate Factory,” a recent animation.
Trump Statue Initiative’s “Ode to Putin” in Portland, OR | Photo: Bryan Edward Creative