Tuesday 19th June, 2018
2 ℉ | 25 ℉Jefferson City

ARIZONA, U.S. - In a not-so-strange incident, a billboard went up in downtown Phoenix, depicting U.S. President Donald Trump next to nuclear explosions and Nazi symbols. 

The billboard near Grand Avenue and Taylor Street in Phoenix shows Trump’s face next to mushroom clouds shaped like clowns and swastikas shaped like dollar signs.

In the creation that went up on Friday afternoon, Trump is seen to be wearing a Russian flag pin on his lapel. 

The back of the billboard showcases five fists forming sign language letters with the word “unity” written beneath the fists. 

According to reports, the two-sided billboard was created by Santa Monica, Calif., artist and activist Karen Fiorito for the “Art Detour” weekend and is the second controversial art she has posted. 

Fiorito said that the La Melgosa gallery in Phoenix, that "supports the arts community in Phoenix" commissioned the piece.

Earlier in the year 2004, the same artist made one with former President George W. Bush and top government officials. 

The sign read, “Dear America…we lied to you for your own good.”

Now, Fiorito was quoted as saying, “I was given the opportunity to just say what I want. And that's what I did."

She said the dollar signs imitating Nazi swastikas originally were designed by New York artist Hugh Gran for her 2004 billboard, but she believed they were appropriate for use in this piece as well.

Fiorito said, “I felt that those really symbolize politics and money and power.”

Adding, “Something that really concerned us was this idea of a dictatorship where things were going in a certain direction.”

She added that she expects negative comments from Trump supporters.

Further, reports noted that the sign was authorized by the billboard owner and is set to remain there as long as President Trump is in office.

The artists first shared the image of the billboard on her social media pages, with the hashtag #TheResistance, referencing anti-Trump sentiment on social media.

State Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa meanwhile has called the piece "offensive." 

He said he recognized that the First Amendment protects offensive speech but questioned Fiorito's message about politics, money and power.

In a statement to The Arizona Republic, Smith said, “I’m wondering why it hasn't been up the past eight years, considering President Obama has amassed more debt than every previous president combined.”

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