With the impeachment-related news and Trump administration horror coming at a furious pace during Trump’s first 64 days in office (see our impeachment clock for the latest count), it is easy to get caught up in the fact checking, political maneuvering, and foreign espionage.
While there are the obvious issues of the Trump presidency, such as violations of the foreign emoluments clause, the exploding Russiagate scandal, and the constant stream of lies, we should sometimes pause and consider the effect that the Trump administration is having on our culture.
One way to do this is to look to the art that is being created in protest to Trump and all that his administration seems to represent. One piece of art that has given us that moment of pause is “Protest Quilt with Bazooka” by the artist woolpunk. We find it a poignant reminder of the potential impact of a long-running Trump administration. This is why we need impeachment—to stop the damage before it goes too far.
"Protest Quilt with Bazooka" installation
For this piece, woolpunk researched different fabrics inspired by Islamic, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and other various cultures and acquired them through thrifting. The mission was to create a new flag that represents a new America.
"Protest Quilt with Bazooka" installation, alternate view
Here are the artist’s thoughts on the work:
My grandmother emigrated to this country from Italy and sewed American Flags for a living. Since the election, I have been hand stitching this protest quilt that pays homage through fabrics and embroidery to all the amazing people and cultures that truly Make America Great, from Islamic inspired patterns to my own vintage Mexican dress that I cut to use as a symbol.
"Protest Quilt with Bazooka" detail
This work is featured in a group exhibition called Quantum Overdrive, curated by Fred Fleisher in the Dineen Hull Gallery at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ.
Michelle Vitale (aka woolpunk) is an American artist, born in Summit, NJ in 1971.
Inspired by an immigrant seamstress grandmother who sewed American flags, she machine knits fiber installations and embroiders on photos of urban sprawl. She has created large-scale site specific forms for a variety of institutions including St John’s Cathedral, NY; Hunterdon Museum, NJ; Lion Brand Yarn Studio, NY; and Casaterra Residency, Italy.
Vitale has been included in numerous exhibitions including the New Jersey Arts Annual; the Arts and Crafts Museum, Itami, Japan; ABC No Rio, NYC; and Galerie Kurt I’m Hirsch, Berlin, Germany. Her work has been included in several publications and she has received numerous grants from the Puffin Foundation, Goldman Sachs and the Fine Arts Work Center, among others.