“Back To School” Posters from Winston Tseng Thrill and Irk on the Street

Yo! It’s back to school, fool! We got this!

We’ve been through this before, right? – throngs of new excited students marching and plodding back to classrooms as fall approaches full of expectations. And yet, the adults in the room are scrambling to figure out how.

With 90% of families desperate for in-school learning and most kids too young to have vaccine shots, there are still debates about whether masks and social distancing are enough to keep everyone safe. Add to this the periodic closures because some classmates test positive and the rest have to go into quarantine- while parents and grandparents and all kinds of caretakers scramble for childcare and keeping their jobs if they have one. Stir in a toxic politicization of those who are sure this is a political conspiracy of some sort deviously designed to deny personal freedom, and suddenly an auspicious new school year feels like a stove gas leak filling your home with fumes.

Winston Tseng (photo © jaime Rojo)

You can always rely on street artist Winston Tseng to light a match at the right time. His bright flat graphics are on target: easily read and evidently easily misinterpreted. Familiar images and shapes sometimes require decoding – and he is happy to lead you to the hot spots in our current societal debates. This new fake poster is popping up around New York City this week; making some laugh, and making others breathe fire.

Well, at least we are still breathing!