SubDude is the poster boy of protesting in the age of Donald Trump. Literally.
The London-based street artist offers biting critiques on politicians, world affairs and tech giants through his posters.
“It’s protest art that wants to make a point rather than just look pretty,” he told HuffPost.
SubDude hit the streets with this first poster in 2016:
“It was a play on the financial crisis term for banks that were considered to be ‘too big to fail,’” the self-taught artist said. “But it also reflected my doubts and fears about whether what I was doing would work or not.”
His work soon became more political, inspired by Trump’s election victory and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
“I cannot stand the swaggering ignorance and small-minded nationalism of Donald Trump and his constant lies,” SubDude said. “I think such ignorance needs to be challenged, and if I can do it with a bit of humor, even better.”
“I think Brexit reflects the same intolerant nationalism,” he added. “And there are so many other things to challenge, from China’s autocratic rulers to Israel’s occupation of Palestine to the savage brutality of the Islamic State. Unfortunately, I will probably never be short of subjects.”
He has also taken swipes at other Trump administration officials, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner:
He taunted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon with this poster in 2018:
And Fox News’ primetime host Sean Hannity evoked his anger in April:
Alex Jones, of conspiracy-mongering website InfoWars, has also been the subject of mockery:
“I think it helps me to get my anger at these politicians out and hopefully have some fun doing it,” SubDude said. “If my work makes a few people think more about what misguided ideologies they may support, then hopefully I will have made the world just a tiny bit better.”
SubDude is prepared to give politicians praise where it is due, however.
In March, he paid tribute to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who garnered positive global recognition for her unifying response to the terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch.
“I plan to do more of those in the future,” SubDude said. “But it seems bad leaders are more common than good ones.”
Tech giants have also sparked his anger, particularly their lack of regulations, the resulting invasions of privacy and the addictiveness of some of their products.
“People would rather stare at small screens in a virtual world than actually talk to each other in the real one,” he said. “They can’t even be bothered to look up from their phones when walking along (hence, my poster ‘The Smartphone Generation Doesn’t Look Where It’s Going’).”
A solo show in London’s Brick Lane now beckons, as do politically charged collaborations with other artists. “I have lists of dozens of possible ideas, and I am always thinking about the next political figures to target,” SubDude said. “I am always bursting with ideas and need to get them out.”