Screen printing, part II – Making

The screen printing project involved engaging with issues I care and feel passionately about, so it was a really satisfying project to complete. Shown below is the stencil I made. I initially drew Trump on the stencil paper using charcoal, which allowed me to clearly visualise how the print would look when finished. Instead of writing with a constant typeface, like many political prints, I produced the text in a crazed, irregular writing to mimic his loud and brash way of talking.

anti-trump-stencil

When I finished cutting the image out, I was pleased with how it looked but I realised it was bigger than the actual screen I would use to print it – as a result, some of it would be lost. To correct this, when I had finished printing I painted back in some of the things that were missing – such as the ripples in the water and some of the words – in black acrylic paint. The print shown below is the second of five attempts I did, and was by far the most successful. In the first attempt, I didn’t have enough printing paint, so in the second I put more in, which ended up being too much. Whilst this print was an over-correction, I like the effect the extra paint had – the paint spilled over the stencil, giving a bolder, almost spray-painted appearance.

anti-trump-poster

I like to think that Banksy’s influence is clear, especially in terms of style and because it is a striking expression of my political beliefs.

Advertisements

Screen printing, part I – Initial Ideas

For my print, I wanted to do something quite political, because I had never done a political artwork before, and I feel compelled to try out as many new things as possible now I’m at degree level. Furthermore, in the crazy year of politics that was 2016, I felt I had a lot to say on the subject. I considered focusing my print on everything from the “brexit” fiasco to the insanely poor gun control situation in the USA. In the end though, I felt there could only be one target – and that was president-elect Donald Trump. His sudden and unexpected rise to power is undoubtedly one of the craziest things to happen this year; and perhaps even in my lifetime. If there is one good thing about his popularity, it is that it brings to attention a huge problem with our culture – that a lot of people deem what he says and does to be acceptable. It is truly terrifying that a man who was accused of sexual assault by 11 different women (1) soon to be president of one of the world’s most powerful countries. The man has so many flaws to choose from; it was difficult to pick one to draw attention to in my poster.

I chose to attack his denial of climate change, because this may be one of his most dangerous flaws. Climate change is believed to be real and caused by humans by 97% (2) of the scientific community. This is a widely known statistic, yet Trump refuses to believe it. Shown below is his famous tweet from 2012:

trump-global-warming-tweet

Donald Trump’s 2012 tweet (Image credit: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/03/hillary-clinton/yes-donald-trump-did-call-climate-change-chinese-h/)

Where Trump got this idea from exactly, I’m not sure. This belief of his shows a blatant refusal to acknowledge facts. This type of behaviour really angers me, so I wanted to call him out on it. I sketched out an idea I had to mock him:

Print sketches.jpg

The image shows Trump nearly up to his neck in water as sea levels rise due to the ice caps melting, while remaining adamant that climate change isn’t real. Essentially, doing what Trump is doing in the picture is exactly the same as ignoring 97% of scientists on. The image is the best metaphor for his total ignorance and apathy that I could think of.

My main stylistic influence for this project was anonymous street artist Banksy. His mostly stencilled work has a really striking, bold style. The way people appear in his art is particularly impressive – the stencil style accentuates the dark areas of people’s faces, creating a lot of contrast and making the facial features stand out. Shown below are some of my favourite examples of this effect in Banksy’s work:

banksy-1

Banksy street art (image credit: http://www.opticalspy.com/banksy-gallery.html)

Banksy 2.jpeg

Banksy street art (image credit: http://www.opticalspy.com/banksy-gallery.html)

banksy-4

Banksy street art (image credit: http://www.opticalspy.com/banksy-gallery.html)

banksy-3

Banksy street art (image credit: http://www.opticalspy.com/banksy-gallery.html)

Since, like Banksy, I will use a stencil to make my print, I want to depict Trump’s face in a similar style to the above artworks. The aim is to create a poster that is reminiscent of Banksy’s style.

  1. Zachary Roth and Elizabeth Chuck, 22/10/2016, 11th Woman Accuses Donald Trump of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior, online at http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/11th-woman-accuses-donald-trump-inappropriate-sexual-behavior-n671171, NBC News
  2. Cook, Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming, Environmental Research Letters Vol. 11 No. 4, 13 April 2016