Andrew Zolty and Mattias Gunneras are leading the charge to turn Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's positions on issues such as racial equality, Covid-19, healthcare and LGBTQ+ rights into works of art.
The pair, co-founders of Breakfast, a Brooklyn-based art collective, developed a campaign backing "Creatives FOR Biden," an initiative from fundraiser and entrepreneur Toni Sikes that marshals artists to support the candidate. "Creative FOR Biden" encourages submissions of designs, sculptures, illustrations and other pieces representing any of the 40 policy plans put forward by the Biden/Harris campaign.
Combining such crowdsourced efforts with a digital "FOR" stencil, the program creates sharable images suitable for posters and lawn signs—which Zolty and Gunneras plan to produce.
The collection launches today with 130 contributions from more than 60 artists, and it's expanding all the time.
Some notable efforts include "Don't Go Quiet," from Breakfast itself, featuring a flag with stripes that ripple when users post content using the #blacklivesmatter hashtag:
Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One provided this unequivocal take on environmental justice:
Ron English's "Color Corrected," an oil on canvas, tweaks the Norman Rockwell aesthetic for a more inclusive vibe:
Photographer Emanuela Frattini Magnusson captured a haunting image of wind turbines in the North Sea, illustrating the need for clear energy in the fight against climate change:
Here, acclaimed graffiti artist Chris Daze Ellis takes the uptown D train to support Black Lives Matter:
Francesco Pinzon's mixed media confection "Equality Is Love" offers a dramatic, expressionistic take on LGBTQ+ equality:
You can see more examples in this video:
"We've all watched over the past few months as many across the country have stood up in response to multiple social justice issues, but we haven't seen the same reaction in regard to the election," Zolty tells Muse. "When it comes to showing support in the form of lawn signs, posters in windows, etc., the number of Black Lives Matter signs is outpacing Biden signs by around 20 to 1 in some areas—despite Biden being the obvious better candidate to move the country in the right direction around that issue."
Thus, "Creative FOR Biden" was born "as a way people could show support for Biden/Harris through the issues that matter most to them, and with an image that feels more personal than just a name in red, white and blue," he says.
Indeed, Biden's promotional signage—displaying his name in blocky blue capitals with the "E" represented by three red stripes—isn't exactly a masterpiece.
Zolty hopes "Creatives FOR Biden" will engage viewers in a way such typical signage can't.
"Artists hold a unique place in most people's heads where they are often respected even while making a statement that might be uncomfortable or controversial," he says. "To put a piece of art in front of someone that is about education reform feels very different than someone trying to talk through their position on it."
The project encourages entries from folks outside the professional creative community.
"We are all creative—even if it's someone capturing a photo with their phone's camera," Zolty says. "This is a call to anyone who cares about these issues to create an image and upload it."
He adds: "It's a great moment for a campaign that allows anyone from any background to submit something. Some of the best pieces that have come in are from unknowns, highlighting that great art can come from anywhere."
All contributors volunteer their work, and any money made from selling yard signs or other items will support the platform.