Like every other paper in the world right now, the Daily Mirror has marked Donald Trump’s shock victory on the front page of today’s issue. Unlike every other paper in the world, they’ve used an image by a punk artist to reflect the shock, anger and despair at the controversial Republican’s triumph.
Oh, America!, which features the Statue Of Liberty made to look as if she’s got her head in her hands, is a piece by east London artist Gee Vaucher. Done in the late ’80s, it’s still powerfully relevant today.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) November 9, 2016
Vaucher’s punk credentials come from her work with Essex anarcho-punks Crass. She and the band’s co-founder Penny Rimbaud set up the commune Dial House as a “centre for radical creativity”, and Vaucher was responsible for the group’s album artwork. She included feminist and political points of view in her protest art, such as the cover for ‘You’re Already Dead’, which featured a grinning Margaret Thatcher with her eyes scrawled over.
That a British tabloid is using a piece of Vaucher’s artwork as its front page is pretty cool. Punk was a response to the economic and societal struggle of the mid-’70s, a period of anger and frustration. It’s fitting that the election of a man whose campaign was tainted by racist, sexist and xenophobic views should be marked with an image created by one of the punk movement’s best and most political artists – especially one that captures the mood in the UK and around the world so well.