All posts tagged: George Bush

Hail to the Street : Presidents Day Street Art

Happy Presidents Day! In the US this is a holiday, officially to celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays were commemorated separately until about a decade ago when they were merged.  A lot of New Yorkers think today about skiing, since it’s really the last 3 day weekend of the winter – and it’s snowing this morning so a lot of kids will be shoved outside by their parents to go play in it. Or they may take them to the Met , Guggenheim, or MOMA, which are all open today.

brooklyn-street-art-senator-jaime-rojo-02-11-3-webGeorge Washington by the Street Artist named Senator (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But back to the gallery of the street, which is always open, we can get a little history lesson too.  Everybody knows that Shepard Fairey nailed it with his Obama posters a couple of years ago, but did you realize that Street Artists have been putting up many presidential portraits over the last decade? One artist, Senator, sometimes confused people with wheat-pasted pieces in the late 2000s because his name signed to the image lead you to think it was about the subject, like the George Washington image above. His black and white coloring-book style depicted many presidents – Lincoln, Adams, Jefferson, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan. As you can see below, Senator is not the only Street Artists to find US presidents a worthy topic.


Senator (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Abraham Lincoln by Visual Resistance (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Smoking Jack Kennedy by Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Richard Nixon by Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Senator (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ronnie talk to Keith; The Gipper shaking the hand of a Photoshopped Keith Hernandez from a street art viral campaign a couple of years ago. Photo © Jaime Rojo


Sever focuses on the the Bush Cheney duo. Primary Flight Miami 2008 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The simple placement of a dollar sign was all this Street Artist needed to complete their portrait of George W. Bush. Photo © Jaime Rojo


President Obama’s image next to Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth is appropriated by Street Artist General Howe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


One of the many Obama street art pieces from 2008, this one is similar to the ubiquitous Shepard Fairey images around at that time. © Jaime Rojo

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“Credit Crunch Monster” by Ronzo in London

As the scourge of financial immorality continues to sprint at top speed through the hallways of power the street artist commentaries are addressing the issue in a concrete fashion.

Here Street Artist Ronzo installs a “Credit Crunch Monster” in a film reminiscent made in the style of silent films during the Great Depression.


Saturday Night Live Brings Back Previous Presidents to Talk to Obama

“I’ve come back from the dead to tell Mr. Reach-Across-The-Aisle here to grow a pair,” Reagan says.

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Billi Kid takes a Shine to Brooklynite and Street Art Sales

A Concept for a gallery show inspires one street artist to try an on-the-street experiment.

Billi Kid recently completed his version of a shoe-shine box to contribute to the unusual show that Bed-Stuy gallery Brooklynite opens next week, and he decided to take his box a step further.

Billi Kid's contribution to the shinebox show also doubled as an experiment on the street (photo courtesy the artist)
Billi Kid’s contribution to the shinebox show also doubled as an experiment on the street (photo courtesy the artist)

The 100 artists, mostly street artists, have created their own version of a shoe-shine box, a metaphor for the entrepreneurial spirit. “Having been born in a third world country, Colombia, I have seen many a kid making a living shining shoes,” says Billi. “They hustle a modest living out of their shoeshine boxes. It is a testament to the human will to survive that these kids stretch their craft day and night to simply put food on their table. That is, if they even have a table.”

Billi Kid is a bit of an entrepreneur himself so he used his shine box on the street to sell some of his artwork.  In New York City, as a result of street artists winning a fight with the Giuliani administration in the late 1990’s to sell their art on the streets, you are allowed set up a table and sell your own artwork without fear of reprisal.

“I took Brooklynite’s challenge to heart and set out to see if I could actually put food on the table working out of my “SHINEBOX,” says the artist. Taking into account overhead costs for creating his postcards, “I figured that I would need to sell at least 16 postcards per hour @ a $1.00 each to make $8.00 dollars in profit an hour.”

Traffic was pretty good on his spot near the park, and a number of people stopped to look at his signature political-personality postcards featuring the likes of George Bush, Sara Palin, and Michelle Obama.  Within a couple of hours, 20 postcards of Billi Kid’s had sold, and the short-lived experiment ended up with Billi and his cameraman in a nearby pizza joint eating the profits.  Luckily, there was money left for the subway home.


More on Billi’s experiment Here

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