Public Art Wars

Now this is how you do it, when you can do it. Seattle’s The Stranger.CapHillPSA

The Paid poster is part of #CapHillPSA, a collection of posters made by local artists addressing the issue of public safety on Capitol Hill. A press release suggests the campaign was intended by organizers Courtney Sheehan and Yonnas Getahun to “demonstrate the role art can play in shaping personal reflection and community action.” As the name suggests, it’s less an art show and more a propaganda campaign, as demonstrated by Ken McCarty’s red-and-black poster displaying a close-up of the barrel of a handgun with the words “STOP THE VIOLENCE” printed on top. It’s purely political, a simple message that wouldn’t be out of place in a church basement or a school hallway.

Most of the work in #CapHillPSA demonstrates a bit of political cartoon DNA tossed in too, with a plucky juxtaposition between words and pictures. Christian Petersen’s poster reads “ALLDICKHEADS-SHOULDFUCKOFF,” with a smiley face in place of the o in “should.” Meng Yu’s poster shows a popped-collar douche rendered in soft neon colors, with the words “Welcome to the neighborhood AGRO BRO” drawn over his turquoise hair. A couple of the works, like Jite Agbro’s gorgeous moody moonlit landscape or Shogo Ota’s prickly hairy-chested figure wearing a vicious-looking spiky bustier, are a little more ambiguous and a lot more visually rewarding.

Protect your town and your neighborhoods, and its weirdness, any way you can. I think the publication’s title is actually a comparative adjective, for what its worth.