A billboard in deep-red Phoenix, Arizona is drawing controversy due to its depiction of President Trump.
The billboard’s artist, Karen Fiorito, told KPNX that in showing Trump’s glowering face surrounded by mushroom clouds and swastikas, she aimed to capture the national mood and perception of the 45th President of the United States. On closer inspection, the mushroom clouds are shaped like the faces of clowns, the swastikas are made to resemble dollar signs, and Trump is wearing the Russian flag on his lapel.
“Something that really concerned us was this idea of a dictatorship where things were going in a certain direction,” Fiorito said, adding that the additional details were to put a humorous touch on dark and sensitive subjects.
The person who put up the money for the billboard plans to have the image up throughout the length of Donald Trump’s presidency. Beatrice Moore told KPNX that the billboard was a means of self-expression.
“Some of these issues are so important, you can’t not speak out,” said Moore, whom was described by local media as a longtime patron of the arts in Phoenix.
Moore and Fiorito’s billboard is certain to attract controversy in Phoenix, which is inside of Maricopa County, Arizona, where Trump won by a 47-44 margin and garnered more than 747,000 votes. Fiorito said she’s gotten death threats as a result of her art.
“I just hope that everyone involved in helping bring this message out is safe and that we all get through this unharmed,” she said.
This isn’t the first controversial billboard Fiorito designed. In 2004, she created art for a billboard that showed former President George W. Bush, along with members of his cabinet, with a caption that read, “Dear America, we lied to you for your own good. Now trust us.”
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.