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Molly Surazhsky billboards
October 20, 2020 - October 31, 2020
Early in the pandemic, artist Molly Surazhsky began sewing masks in her studio, organizing donations to health care workers. Now Surazhsky has a new public art project on view, which uses her masks to mobilize people to vote. Across 10 billboards around Los Angeles, as part of a project hosted by Hunter Shaw Fine Art cheekily called “People’s Power Enhancement” — the artist’s images of people wearing her artist-made masks carry potent messages: “Vote Nov. 3,” “Redistribute Power,” “Care for All.”
The subjects are photographed wearing the masks against a vibrant patriotic background of red, white, and blue triangular patterns, and strike poses that range from the dramatic (arms flexed) to the pleading (arms outstretched towards the camera). The models include artists Barbara T. Smith, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and Harry Gamboa Jr., as well as a broad spectrum of individuals, such as a local witch and her familiar and an ex-Sandinista fighter and his daughter. Together the billboards point to the mask as a locus for political ideology (mask-wearing is often split along party lines), while also urging the residents of LA to show up to the polls and tap into our collective people power.