anish kapoor creates powerful anti-trump protest work

And wants you to make one too.

by Jo Rosenthal
01 February 2017, 5:20pm

British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor, known for making the world's blackest black paint, and not sharing it with anyone, has created a new body of work protesting Donald Trump. Kapoor's work takes inspiration from Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys's 1974 performance piece I Like America and America Likes Me.

The main piece in the series features a black and white photo of Kapoor himself overlaid with the words "I Like America and America Doesn't Like Me," a riff on Beuys's title written in a font commonly associated with Nazi German media.

In a statement about this new work, Kapoor is quoted saying, "I call on fellow artists and citizens to disseminate their name and image using Joseph Beuys's seminal work of art as a focus for social change. Our silence makes us complicit with the politics of exclusion. We will not be silent."

The election and Trump's presidency have inspired many artists to make protest work. Last year, street artist Hanksy painted Trump as a pile of dung on a wall in New York. In LA, artist Illma Gore made a nude portrait of Trump with a micropenis. Both works ended badly: dung Trump was painted over before the inauguration and Gore was assaulted in public and received threats from Trump's legal team. In light of the recent signing of the immigration ban and the inauguration, many other artists have taken to the streets and made anti-Trump work. The Amplifier Foundation has commissioned artists including Shepard Fairey and Jessica Sabogal, for example, to make posters that anyone can save, print, and protest with.

Anish Kapoor is no stranger to protest work. In 2015, he completed a walk for refugees with Ai Weiwei in London and last year he clashed with members of the Versailles municipal council after he refused to remove anti-Semitic graffiti from his work Dirty Corner, on view at the Palace of Versailles.

I Like America and America Doesn't Like Me can be seen on Kapoor's website, along with other timely work such as Holocaust Memorial 2017, which was made with the Zaha Hadid Architects as a proposal for the recent UK Holocaust Memorial's design competition.


Text Jo Rosenthal
Image courtesy of the artist 

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