Art Fairs Arts Social Commentary Street Art

Politically Charged Street Art Shocks Basel: John Post Lee’s “Trump Rat” at Churchill’s and Lady Pink’s “Resist” Mural at Wynwood Walls

Trump Rat at Churchill’s Pub

Miami’s punk rock Cheers, as some know Churchill’s Pub, blew up for Art Week, displaying a giant ballooned rendition of the president with rat ears and teeth.  John Post Lee created the inflatable 15-foot “Trump Rat,” which he exhibited in New York across the street from Trump Tower and in Washington D.C. at Dupont Circle.  During Miami Art Week, aka Arf Baselt, the enormous blow up doll was stationed at the bar’s parking lot next to their vintage double decker bus, also a piece of trash street art. For Churchill’s recent 38th birthday two artists, Kyle Holbrook and Kevin “Smurf” Morris, painted a rockin’ mural with images of local music icons like Frank Falestra “Rat Bastard” on the landmark, previously just white with a black silhouette of the Churchill’s icon.

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John Post Lee’s “Rat Trump”

The rock bar has a history of expressing politics, after all it’s named after the British Prime Minister who took on Hitler.

Called the beloved shit hole for its gritty demeanor, the pub’s testosterone fueled aggressions and transgressions leak through guitar riffs of candor along with cold drops of water from its dilapidated ceiling. There’s honesty in the rawness of the music that seeps unfiltered through the intimate stages. They provide a space for people to express themselves without reserve.  Anything goes. Sometimes it’s the worst–a drunken debauchery of pitiful noise oozes out through speakers clouded in cigarette smoke. But every now and then, a blissful union of poetry and magic breathes melodic freshness into the atmosphere, otherwise stale with lingering smoke.

The art works at the establishment whether beautiful or beastly tell a tale.  They express disgust at the current political state with exhibits like “Trump Rat,” yet also display American pride with murals like “Mt. Punkmore,” a tribute to the founding fathers who built this city on rock and roll, akin to freedom of expression. Local artists painted it on an exterior wall near the back stage in the summer.

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@weerdo1994 @johnny_bluze @mostfresh138 @mutavision creating “Mt. Punkmore”

The best way to get rid of rats is to bring in some pussy cats. Meow. We know he thinks it’s ok to just grab them. On the opposite side of the ideological spectrum, feminism also finds a home at the pub with the rock genre’s history of Riott Grrrls leading the revolution. It also has been visibly expressed on the walls. “Can’t Grab Thys Pussy,” was written on the wall beside the previous image of Winston Churchill.

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Lady Pink’s Resist Mural 

The “Resist” mural in Wynwood also expresses similar feminist sentiments and disgust at the president.  Yet the New York based graffiti artists known as Lady Pink went a bit further in the colorful six piece masterpiece that she painted at the Wynwood Walls for Art Basel.  “Resist” shows the connection between the disrespect of women, expressed by Trump in his notorious line, and the destruction of the environment.

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She tells a tale of the damage that Trump- along with the underlying culture and belief systems that enable his power- is causing on the planet. In the images, she shows the connection between the lack of reverence for the feminine principle in nature and the damage on Mother Earth.   She foresees a bleak future when climate degradation has led to the drowning of cities near sea level-Miami being the most at risk of them all.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should also a right of all beings. Unfortunately, the current administration is not considerate of the effects of their actions on the environment, and the future looks bleak.

 

 

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