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The artists’ posters and posteriors aimed at Theresa May

27 May 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Last weekend, a mysterious poster campaign caught the eye of Londoners. On hoardings across the city, the poster twisted Prime Minister Theresa May’s election campaign slogan into a provocative message: ‘Strong and Stable My Arse’.

By Monday, the Guardian had unmasked the man behind the mischievous missive. Step forward Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. Deller, whose work has often focused on politics, conceived the project for the art poster initiative Flying Leaps. He told the paper that the message was ‘self explanatory’.

The poster certainly proved a hit on social media, and the sale initial run of posters quickly sold out on Flying Leaps.

However, not all artists-cum-pundits have been quite so well received in the run-up to the election. According to the Bristol Post, Bristol street artist John D’oh was commissioned by Devon County Council to decorate the Exe Bridge in central Exeter, with the caveat that he should not make use of political imagery.

D’oh is a self-avowedly Corbynite artist who plies his trade wearing a Homer Simpson mask. Any expectations that he would bow to the constraints of political neutrality proved misplaced.

The council has disowned the work, which has apparently now been scrubbed from the walls. ‘D’oh!’ indeed…

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