As a designer, I am interested in the intersection of art and American culture. For the last 11 years, I have been creating posters about the sorry state of American political discourse under the guise of the Chamomile Tea Party. During this decade, I have designed over 200 posters documenting our political process from the advent of the Tea Party in 2009 to the present, including the 2020 presidential election and the confluence of politics, the pandemic, social justice issues, and economic inequality. Public engagement is an essential aspect of my work. Just before the 2012 presidential election, I was the first artist to buy ad space in Washington, DC's Metro, placing my posters about the effects of legislative gridlock on platform signs. In 2018, Google Arts & Culture published a seven-part online exhibition of this work, allowing me to create a visual history of American politics. I am completing an eighth chapter that will bring us up to the present.
Related Links: DC Subway Project: https://www.chamomileteaparty.com/projects/underground-posters/ Google Arts & Culture: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/chamomile-tea-party
“A picture is worth a thousand words” has often been invoked to describe the power of images to encapsulate several ideas in a single frame. This is the case here. But can a picture be worth over 600,000 American deaths from COVID-19? Donald Trump’s image and re-election took precedence over American lives. He politicized the pandemic, and, in doing so, he and the Republican Party decimated many families. He said he took no responsibility for the abysmal federal response to the virus.
I purposely used a play on the word “pray” by using its homonym “prey” in the text of this poster. An introduction to prayer turned on its head. I wanted to connect the President’s relationship to and support from evangelicals with the hypocrisy evident in their support for his presidency.
President Trump, you have blood on your hands from the thousands of Americans you could have saved. Stop preying on us. It won’t make America great again.
To measure the impact of this image, I must look at this project as a whole rather than the effects of just one poster. To distribute them, I offer these high-resolution images for free under a Creative Commons copyright. People have printed and used them in rallies across the country. When I placed them in DC's subway, I often engaged commuters about the issues these posters conveyed. The Google Arts & Culture project was the first time Google published current political art on this platform, and it has brought the work to a global audience. Each chapter reads like a visual history book of these extraordinary times in American history and will hopefully serve as a document of this period. At its heart, that is what the Chamomile Tea Party posters are about: promoting discussions about the critical issues that face us.