Today Britain goes to the election, we express political preferences through a mark on a ballot paper. Walls are also great surfaces to express political opinions and here are a few highlights from the 2017 General Election, a period that began back in the third week of April.
One of the first out of the blocks was Banksy with his stunning comment on Brexit at the port of Dover.
The election has witnessed a rare mis-calculation by Mr Banksy (or maybe he does a great job of just not screwing up in public!). He offered a limited edition “archive quality” girl with balloon print to anyone from six tory controlled wards in Bristol that sent in a photograph of their polling paper showing a tick in the box for the labour candidate. The initial response on Saturday from the Electoral Commission professed that the law was complex in this area but by Monday Banksy had announced a “Product Recall” on the basis of a legal opinion from the Electoral Commission that those polls would be invalidated. Tweets purporting to be from local constabulary also declared the action illegal.
Well known British contemporary artist Jeremy Deller provided a plain rebuttal to Theresa May’s campaign slogan, this work put up widely across London by the Fly Leaps organisation.
The blind as a bat Theresa May poster next to Deller’s is by Kennard Phillips who produced the now legendary image of Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of a burning oilfield which was displayed in the window of Banksy’s Santa’s Ghetto on Oxford St, London in 2006.
The punchiest exponent of using other people’s walls to deliver punchy political messages for many years is one of my favourite artists Dr d. For this general election Dr d has gone back to spoof Standrd (note the spelling at the end) headlines, as can be seen here above Unify’s adaptation of Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama HOPE poster.
CodeFC put up a couple of strong stencilled compositions. Sadly the one in Leake Street asking “Theresa who?” had burned bright but briefly as art and graffiti is wont at that location but with the grace of CodeFC we have used his photo as the featured imagae at the top of this post. Brexit Through The Chip Shop simultaneously references a great British culinary institution, the title of Banksy’s 2010 street art documentary and the greatest political fraud of our lifetime.
I am not sure who did this one but the idea of giving Putin a Pussy Riot style balaclava whist simultaneously referencing the conspiracy of Russian intervention in the US elections is clever. [Update 22 June: Heath Kane, hat tip to Subdude for letting us know]
Probably from the same “artist unknown” [update 22 Jun: seems unlikely], the rather wishy washy tory slogan “Strong and stable” is appropriated in condemnation of the UK arms industry.
A political wishlist expressed in the form of sequined skulls has been put up by Uberfubs, it would be great if they could all come true but this one in particular would be on my list.
Many artists such as Subdude never stop expressing political views. Paste up digs at Trump and Putin have given way over the past few weeks to a plethora of comments at the general political state of the country and specifically against Teresa May.
Subdude seems to have gone a bit off message with this image (or maybe I am just missing the point) which has been modified in a Basquiat kind of style though as you scan down a polling slip looking for Jeremy’s name to put your tick against, try to get the surname spelt right.
Please vote wisely and safely