Multiple times during his campaign and now his presidency, Donald Trump has vowed to build a wall to keep immigrants out of our country. But, one artist, Maddy Kramer, is building a different kind of wall. Kramer's newest art project will take the artwork of U.S. immigrants and assemble it into a digital "wall."
It was Trump's own words that inspired Kramer to create this project. The advertising art director co-founded an art project last year called "The Woman Card," which was also inspired by Trump — specifically his comment toward his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton. Kramer says that with this project, she was specifically motivated by Trump's claim that he wanted his proposed border wall to be "beautiful."
"He's always using these big adjectives, that they're like kind of bluffing and mean nothing. But this time, he inspired me to make a beautiful wall," Kramer tells Bustle
"The Most Beautiful Wall" is an online creation that will take submitted art and compile it into a gallery. The gallery is aligned horizontally, so you can scroll through the works as if they were one long wall.
Originally, Kramer, who was born in the United States but raised in Argentina and Miami, planned to have just immigrants contribute their art to the project, but she will not be turning anyone away who wants to support the project. Some people have submitted the posters they created for the Women's Marches, as well as works of art that they would sell in a gallery. "It's nice to see the variety of things," Kramer says.
Kramer displays the artist's name and country of origin next to each painting, in an effort to show the strength of the community coming together. She hopes to receive contributions from artists of many nationalities. "Obviously, the more diversity we have in the wall, the more powerful it will be," Kramer says.
From this, Kramer says she hopes to start a dialogue, and illustrate how when people come together, they can be more powerful than the forces that wish to divide them. "I want to show that art is more powerful than any wall," she says. "Together we can be more powerful. I think the message is art is supposed to be hung on walls, and walls are not supposed to divide us."
Art and politics are inherently tied, Kramer says. "I think it's a great way to express yourself, and this anger and agony we're having right now into something beautiful," she says. "It's about expressing who you are and how you feel about a subject."
The Most Beautiful Wall, we are looking for immigrant artist in USA to help us create a 1926 mile digital art wall. https://t.co/dGOsdiFcWS— maddykramer (@maddnessme) March 7, 2017
Kramer has lived in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, and now finds herself in Kansas City. She says this latest city has given her perspective on how the middle and the coasts of America can be divided.
“There’s so many things that reflect who I am, I have so many cultures in me," Kramer says. "I grew up in two different countries, you have so many stories, they change the way you are. I think this is the first time I can put all these things together, because I'm opposed to everything [Trump's] saying, there's nothing I agree with. And I think that's the way of showing how my values are different from him."
"I wish that this project wouldn't exist to be honest. I wish politics wouldn't be that bad to have to make this project, and that we have a better future."
Even though she was born in the United States, the climate now surrounding immigrants and immigration scares her.
"It's scary even for me. I have an accent," Kramer says. "It's uncomfortable sometimes, you're in Kansas City and you go to the airport and what it they stop me because they think they can because I have an accent? It's weird."
And while Kramer enjoys creating art that has purpose and significance, she hopes to reach a time where politics won't inspire these types of projects.
"I wish that this project wouldn't exist to be honest. I wish politics wouldn't be that bad to have to make this project, and that we have a better future," she said.