By Juan Carlos Ramirez ’18
If you drive down Grand Avenue and Taylor Street in Phoenix, you might have seen the President Donald Trump billboard that has caused a stir of political conversation.
The artist of the Trump billboard, Karen Fiorito, is an ASU graduate who created the symbolic art that featured President Trump infront of nuclear clouds and dollar signs that resemble Nazi swastikas.
The billboard has been up since March 17 and is owned by La Melgosa LCC, who commissioned permission to Fiorito, according to AZ Central.
As radical as it might appear, it is important to keep in mind that this is how some people do perceive Trump’s presidency.
Fiorito is not only artistically conveying her political opinion through the billboard, she is also providing the perspective of some in the minority community.
According to CBS Los Angeles, she has received much positive and negative feedback from the community.
“‘Tons and tons of positive feedback,” Fiorito said in an article from CBS Los Angeles. “People either love it or they hate it. A lot of people have defended me online and offered to give me money to keep it up.”
The art that she created is no different than the political cartoons drawn in the daily newspaper that critique politicians.
Modern day artists are more vivid with their expression through art, which should not be oppressed, rather it should be appreciated or at least understood.
Through her artistic expression, Fiorito is exercising her First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
She is voicing her opinion through an artistic form, which is her legal right, and the opinion of it being too radical or very appropriate is something for citizens to decide.
President Trump is depicted to be infront of nuclear mushroom clouds in the shape of maniacal clowns laughing.
The mushroom clouds represent Fiorito’s opinion that Trump’s future is leading America into an apocalyptic state.
Fiorito said that the money signs have been manipulated to resemble Nazi swastikas, which represent corporate money and greed and how everything in society has become all about money and corporatism.
Fiorito’s message is not all negative, as she also included artwork behind the billboard that spells “Unity” in sign language.
The skin color of the hands used to spell out “unity” are diverse, emphasizing her point of the power of unity and diversity that should triumph over Trump’s divisive rhetoric toward many in the minority community.
She said that she is planning on leaving the billboard up for at least one year, and her overall goal is to have the billboard up for the remaining years of Trump’s presidency.