Last weekend, various streets across the United States became designated Donald Trump-free zones. Metal signs reading “NO TRUMP ANYTIME” popped up at heavily trafficked locations in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC, as part of a nationwide campaign by LA-based street artist Plastic Jesus — the most recent of the many anti-Trump art projects to emerge this year. Although many have since vanished, the designs are now available online and are free for the taking for anyone wishing to create a Trump-free zone in his or her neighborhood.
Modeled on the standard, red-and-white “No Parking Anytime” signs, the notices are straightforward in their message, echoing Hanksy’s more conspicuous “Dump Across America” campaign, and contrasting with the more mysterious tombstone that popped up last month in Central Park.
“On the most basic level, the idea behind the project was to really show my concerns of Donald Trump possibly becoming the next president of the United States,” Plastic Jesus told Hyperallergic. “These street signs are pretty bold and basic in their message, but we need to be basic in the message that we need to get out about Trump.
“I’ve been living in the US for eight years. I’m from London, I’m an immigrant here, and just like all the Latinos here who have been under threat because of the rising popularity of Trump, I feel under threat. I think his ideas for foreign policy are extremely dangerous. His policies are isolationist, which would make the world a less safe place for everybody. I think over the past few decades most nations have come a long way to create an environment that has greater equality, immigration [policies], freedoms, and rights. I think if Trump becomes president, a lot of these things we take for granted would no longer be there.”
Teams working for him, spread across the four cities, specifically targeted streets outside Trump’s buildings in Chicago and New York and others by Chicago’s Wrigley Park, the US Capitol, and near the Hollywood sign. Those who installed the street signs received no instruction other than to choose high-profile places, as Plastic Jesus said, although installing them within sight of one of Trump’s properties was ideal. He believes that the ones that have disappeared were removed either by city officials or people collecting street art souvenirs. Now that they’re available online, however, perhaps we’ll start seeing more pop up (you may track their presence by checking #notrumpanytime).
Plastic Jesus has not yet heard from Trump’s team, but he’s certain of one thing, “I don’t think they’ll be asking me to help them with the election campaign.”
Aside from Hanksy and the anonymous tombstone artist, Plastic Jesus joins a growing coterie of artists making work to protest Trump. There’s the group that transformed a Trump bus into an anti-Trump campaign vehicle; artist Derek Brahney, still raising funds to build a mocking monument in New York; and Illma Gore, whose drawing of Trump with a micropenis has allegedly gotten her into deep trouble with the Republican’s legal team.
“I think Donald Trump is giving artists so much ammunition within his policies, his attitudes, his answers, and statements,” Plastic Jesus said. “There’s a whole wealth of material there to play with.”