Sections

Draw bridges: Trump inspires painting of Verrazano

Opening night: Artist Sam Messer stands in front of his massive painting of the Verrazano Bridge, on display at Bric House until Aug. 6.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

He’s creating connections.

A Bedford-Stuyvesant artist will discuss his Trump-inspired exhibition “Bridges” at a Fort Greene arts space on July 12. The show, on display at Bric Arts Media through Aug. 6, features paintings of almost every bridge in the five boroughs, and is meant to help people talk about bridging their political differences. The idea struck the painter while he attended New York City’s Women’s March in January.

“I took part in the women’s march and I made a sign that said, ‘Bridges not walls’ and I thought, ‘Actually, I’m just going to paint bridges,’ ” said Sam Messer. “It’s as simple as that.”

Messer’s original plan for his exhibit was to feature portraits of Brooklyn residents, but Trump’s unexpected win made him change course. He painted bridges across the city, including the Whitestone, Hellgate, 59th Street, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges.

His depiction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is the largest painting in the show, measuring more than 16 feet across. Messer chose to emphasize that span because it brings together conservative and liberal boroughs, and he hopes it will help create conversation between those with differing ideas.

“I realized that Staten Island is the one borough who actually voted for Trump, and I think a lot of the issues we have are people don’t talk to each other,” he said. “So I really thought it was important to have that bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn — it’s a very simple way of looking at bridging those two communities.”

The exhibition also screens a series of crudely animated cartoons that Messer made for each of the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. Titled “Years of the Cock,” the videos portray Trump as half-human, half-rooster, and they detail whatever scandal emerged on that day, including the “alternative facts” comment and news about his campaign’s connections with Russia.

Messer realizes that his animations might offend some people, but hopes their placement next to the bridge paintings will make critics open to discussing their feelings.

“The animations can be cathartic for some people, and it will make other people rather mad because they may not agree,” he said. “I hope the bridges next to them will make them have bigger conversations, or be open to conversati­ons.”

Messer will also host a mass drawing session on July 17, and a musical collaboration of Vernon Reid on July 26

Sam Messer at Bric House (647 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, www.bricartsmedia.org). July 12 at 8 pm. Free. Exhibit on display Tue–Sat, 10 am–6 pm through Aug. 6.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Posted 12:00 am, July 7, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!