One discovers all kinds of things when one shuts off the “SafeSearch” function on one’s browser.
- There are images from entire classes of people who take videos and selfies of awful things, much like the overlap with the class of vandals who knock headstones over and spraypaint swastikas.
- They think they have a POV that amplifies some reactionary critique, much like all trolls believe in the 4Chan validation of their creativity or at least their lulz. Or the gamers who decide women can never be equals, because … man’splaining. They eventually get patrons, much like the class of death metal nazi musicians find their tribes… and meth.
- There are the artmakers who sometimes find patrons and/or political candidates willing to take on their creative projects or even believe that they could be candidates (Bannon). And then there’s the artwork they make.
This guy Sabo’s derivative artwork and mediocre skills are among the other of his ilk, like the ‘WH correspondent’ who was arrested for putting a chokehold on a woman after his provocative speech at a university. He has claimed that he’s an artist. Think of the generations of high school doodlers who think they’re artists because they disassociate.
Their work is transgressive, however simplistic, and they perhaps reach the level of provocation for audiences who are most easily affected, even if the message has limited meaning. If this guy’s the ‘alt-right Banksy’, is there an alt-left Thomas Kincade, because ‘Liberal artist’ is oxymoronic? RW art, like conservative punditry, cannot be so easily dismissed as cultural illiteracy.
In many ways they remind us that like Trump’s fake paintings and his brand-building ‘university’, reactionaries mocking culture serve diminished knowledge-building purposes, regardless of ideology.
The right-wing artist, Sabo, unmasked himself to The Guardian, explaining that a collaborator suggested they create a campaign against The Post, because it was being “used as a platform” to criticize the current president. “We wanted to take a swipe back,” Sabo said, failing to explain why he did not attack any of Streep’s collaborators on the film as well.
The artist, a 49-year-old former Marine known to some as an alt-right Banksy, confessed that he did not know whether Streep actually knew about Weinstein’s alleged abuse. “I wasn’t sitting in a room with her. I can’t say 100 percent. But I’d say anyone in the [film] industry had a pretty good idea. I think she knew. Maybe she was providing Weinstein with the fresh meat.”
In the same interview, Sabo defended Trump’s remarks boasting about assaulting women, which were caught by Access Hollywood. “I don’t know a man who I’ve had a beer who doesn’t talk shit like that. We don’t have proof of Trump doing it. Who am I to judge him on that?”
If Sabo is, in fact, responsible for the posters, Hollywood’s sexual assault reckoning and Trump’s presidency may even be more confusingly interconnected than we initially thought.
I believe the Right has a great message, sadly the only people telling it are those on the Left and they do a damn fine job making us look like ass holes and what do Republicans do about it, NOT A DAMN THING!!! Fuck it! I guess it’s just going to have to be me, I thought. My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can. Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience, the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own. My name is SABO, I’m an UNSAVORYAGENT.
Sabo is the pseudonym of a politically conservative street artist active in Los Angeles, California. According to a 2014 interview with Sabo, he had been involved in street art since 2000, though was only seriously active since 2008. Sabo became a household name in anti-liberal circles after his Ted Cruz Tattoo artwork was widely distributed through alternative media and social networks.
In 2017 he claimed credit for putting up posters of actress Meryl Streep with producer Harvey Weinstein with the words “She knew” emblazoned across Streep’s face around Streep’s home, a reference to rumours that Streep had been aware that Weinstein was a serial sexual predator before the information became public.
In an interview with the Guardian he admitted that he considered it retribution for Streep’s role in The Post which he believed was an attack on Donald Trump.