#AllHandsOnDeck: The Art of Political Posters

By Ellen C. Caldwell
for JSTOR Daily

It’s been over a year since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement and woke a generation of strong youth dedicated to critiquing and calling an end to police brutality. A year later, the tension and unrest betweenprotesters and police fiercely continues.

After protests in 2014, many Ferguson stores had shattered windows that were later boarded up. Artist Damon Davis saw this as a pivotal and unique moment, taking to the streets of Ferguson with large mono print posters and buckets of glue made from flour and condensed milk. A mix of a city beautification project and a rallying cry of support, Davis’s #allhandsondeck project inspired store-owners, residents, and visitors alike as he transformed boarded-up windows into exhibition spaces for his monumental black and white photographs. Featuring images of different people’s hands raised with fingers spread wide in the memetic and symbolic “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture associated with the protests, the photographs welcomed residents back to their neighborhood stores, while offering simultaneously feelings of encouragement and solace.

Protest posters like Davis’s have a larger history, particularly because they are highly visible in public areas and, hence, are widely recognized and known. Los Angeles artist Robbie Conal made his name in the ’80s and ’90s by printing and posting his political posters around L.A. after midnight, under the cover of night…

Read the rest here at JSTOR Daily.

Comments are closed.