Philly Artist Joe Boruchow Calls Out Trump, Rizzo With Latest Work
Editor’s Note: Since publication, it has come to our attention that the language in the top half of the original version of this post was similar to that in the post by Conrad Benner that we were aggregating. Philly Mag apologizes to Benner.
Philly artist Joe Boruchow has recently added three new works to his portfolio — and to the streets of Philly, Conrad Benner at Streets Dept. reports. Each are rendered in Boruchow’s signature black-and-white paper cutouts, cut from a single sheet of black paper and wheat pasted to platforms around the city. The latest designs mock Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and protest the statue erected in honor of 1970’s Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo in front of the Municipal Services Building.
“Remove Rizzo” depicts two figures using a rope to drag the statue away from its post on the building’s steps. The piece is accompanied by a short descriptor on Boruchow’s blog:
“Let’s demote this “crumb bum” and remove his statue from the steps of Philadelphia’s Municipal Services Building,” he writes.
Boruchow is particularly proud of “Trump Shit Bigly,” a fairly explicit image of — you guessed it — Trump, defecating. The title really speaks for itself. Fans of the image can now get it on a t-shirt.
“It’s pretty fun to wear those shirts around and see people’s reactions,” Burochow told Philadelphia magazine. “I’m really proud of that composition, just because of it’s off-color nature, or off-color subject. I really intend that to get a chuckle out of people.”
The third piece, entitled “Nightmare,” is also dedicated to Trump. The nominee stands beside three screaming infants in a crib, while, as Boruchow describes, “behind him are a bunch of Muslim and racial caricatures, looming ominously.”
“The nightmare piece, I’m kind of interested to see how other people react to it,” Boruchow said. “‘Remove Rizzo’ I would say is a plea to modern Philly to wake up and lets get rid of this thing. Put it in South Philly where it belongs.”
Many have called attention to the similarities between the two highly controversial politicians, including Philadelphia Magazine and the New York Times. But for Boruchow, the simultaneous completion of these pieces was purely coincidental.
“I started the Rizzo piece in the winter of last year, so I wasn’t consciously trying to tie a link between Trump and Rizzo,” Boruchow said. “But the rise of Trump was starting to happen then so I’m sure I was influenced by that.”
Timing of the DNC and RNC didn’t have much of an impact either. “I haven’t changed my practice to put stuff out during the RNC and DNC,” Burochow said. “It’s just what I do. Every election cycle I have political work.”
According to Boruchow the images can be found in several locations, including 8th and Carpenter Street and on Snyder Avenue near Broad Street, but they may not be there for long. The pieces aren’t commissioned, which means they will likely be painted over.
“My general experience is anything with any nudity or any kind of controversial themes is usually painted over pretty quickly,” said Boruchow. “‘Trump Shit Bigly’ lasted three days at Third and Market, and I was pretty happy with that.”
When asked whether he’s ever run into trouble while posting the pieces, Boruchow laughed, then shared his strategy; “I try less for being discreet and more for looking like I’m supposed to be there.”