Street art bashes Obama, Romney

September 28, 2012
By

(Photo Courtesy Jon Truslow) TheBlankAdministration’s graffiti art at 405 Centre St. as it appeared Sept. 20 after removal of the Obama image.

A campaign of high-end graffiti art bashing presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has come to at least two Jamaica Plain locations thanks to a secretive group called TheBlankAdministration.

The art showed up without permission last week on a wall at 405 Centre St. in Hyde Square, and also on a fence over the Southwest Corridor train line near English High School.

The art consists of a trio of large paper posters hung with wheatpaste. Two of them depict Obama and Romney clutching handfuls of cash, their bodies covered in unflattering, actual newspaper headlines about the influence of money in their politics. Between them, a third poster depicts a man offering a briefcase full of money and the group’s website, theblankadministration.com.

In emails signed only “Blank,” the organization told the Gazette that it hopes that viewers of the art will “take a moment to reflect on the nature of electoral politics, and may begin to actively work past the false dichotomy represented by our current set of candidates.”

The group is based in Boston and Cambridge and has no affiliation with any political organization, according to Blank. Its members have debated whether to remain anonymous and are doing so now to prevent politically motivated “adverse consequences” for some of them, Blank said.

Twenty sets of the Obama-Romney art were produced and distributed to volunteers, who are free to hang them as they wish, Blank said. The group is aware of some of the locations, which include Harvard Stadium. The group is planning a second piece, Blank said.

Mordechai Levin, owner of 405 Centre, said no one asked permission to hang the art, which was easily removed without any damage to the building. He described the work as “well-done,” but explained, “We didn’t really know who put it up. So down it went.”

The art came down over a period of days, and Obama was the first to go, making the art appear to be only Romney-bashing for some time.

Jon Truslow, a JP resident and photographer, spotted the art and was interested in its origin.

“Someone worked hard creating these,” he said.

Blank described the organization as like a “non-violent Fight Club,” with volunteer art-hangers coming into the “volunteer hive” mostly through connections to existing members and a trial period. The group is already hearing from would-be supporters in the suburbs and other parts of the country, Blank said.