Political Street Artist Chor Boogie Takes on Election 2016

Hoping the silver lining of a Trump presidency includes protest art and songs? Chor Boogie, a street artist with a political bent, has a few words of caution. "Yes, art can be a force of protest," Chor told AlterNet in an email interview. "However, art that explicitly depicts Trump will ultimately only give him more notoriety and power." 

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"Superstar," Chor Boogie, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Instead of depicting Trump's face, Chor Boogie continues what he's being doing for years, using historical figures, symbols and scenes to explore and analyze political themes, all with spray paint. He's both a street and a fine artist, as comfortable throwing up a huge mural on a street corner as he is showing in a gallery. He's been at it since Trump's presidency was merely a gleam in a white nationalist's eye, including 2012's "Divided States of America," a series he toured around the country, depicting the consequences of "police brutality, crony capitalism, systemic racism, classism, sexism, the horrors of big oil, and draconian drug policy."

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"In God We Trust," 2016, Chor Boogie. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Chor Boogie says the series, which was presented mainly at college campuses leading up to the 2012 election, got a generally positive response.

He adds, "Generally the youth were resonating with the work, yet they were fearful at the same time because the truth is terrifying. They appreciated that someone is out there speaking the truth, visually. And on the other hand, some people wouldn't even go near the project because of their various beliefs or the strong political ties of their family. Ultimately, even many who were repelled acknowledged the pieces to be a true representation of the issues, but I saw fear set in, along with the tendency to run or sweep the truth under the rug because they want to stay living in a fantasy world."

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"Sweet Land of Liberty," Chor Boogie, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist. 

For his new series, "American Mosaic," currently on display at Miami's Macaya Gallery, the artist is still political, but turns inward.

"There is no outside influence trying to dictate the exact content, even though the powers that be (media, corporations, marketing, entertainment, politicians) are always trying to dictate our thoughts and actions," he wrote in an email to me. "I guess dictation is everywhere simply because everyone has control issues. Everyone needs rehab for control issues, especially America as a nation."

From Chor Boogie's fingertips to Donald Trump's ears. 


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