On March 8, also known as International Women’s Day, President Donald Trump tweeted a message pledging his “tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve.”
Halt Action Group (HALT), an artist-run organization whose members include painter Marilyn Minter, curator Alison Gingeras, and graffiti artist KATSU, was not about to let this glib comment go unchecked.
The activists created a poster to remind U.S. citizens just how much Trump respects women, and KATSU, an artist, vandal and hacker, plastered them across various New York City walls. On their website, the group also invited individuals to download and print their own copies and follow suit.
The sign features Trump’s infamous and repulsive comments about sexually assaulting women, recorded on a live mic during a 2005 filming of “Access Hollywood.”
“I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch,” said the president, per the recording.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful ... I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet ... I don’t even wait,” reads the poster. “And when you’re a star they let you do it ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The posters made quite an impression on International Women’s Day, with figures including J.K. Rowling and Mark Ruffalo recognizing their power. Many were also shared on social media with the hashtag #pussygrabbingPOTUS.
The posters were designed by Minter, whose sex-positive paintings explore the sloppy space where the glamorous meets the grotesque. Although she’s well known for her indulgently close-up depictions of tongues, teeth and eyelashes, Minter’s work has changed course since Trump’s election.
“I’ve been making nothing but resistance propaganda since Nov. 9,” she told Artnet News. “I want to reach the 90 million eligible voters who didn’t vote who are just waking up to how fragile our democracy is.”
Minter was previously involved with other HALT efforts including the “Dear Ivanka” protest, which appealed to Trump’s daughter as an art collector who occasionally interacted with artists, curators and fellow collectors in New York. As a result, many art worlders took to Instagram (and to the streets) to call out her hypocrisy and complicity in her father’s agenda.
We can surely expect more artistic interventions from the HALT crew, and look forward to seeing how they continue to resist the normalization of Trump through the simple power of words, images and showing up.
Read their official statement about the Women’s Day posters below:
In observance of International Women’s Day on March 8th, HALT Action Group will issue a poster designed as a commemorative plaque of the infamous transcription of President Trump’s Access Hollywood recording. The campaign seeks to combat the whitewashing of our President’s history of sexual aggression and the normalization of his racist, anti-women administration.
Refusing amnesia, these words should haunt President Trump and embolden American women to vociferously contest the Trump administration’s systematic attack on reproductive rights as well as fight the appointment of arch-conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Given that this is an administration dominated by privileged white men, some with serious domestic violence allegations, this poster is a reminder that the abuse of women and the abuse of power always travel hand in hand.