There’s a lot of bad art out there. It's everywhere, really.
But there's perhaps nowhere you'll find a higher concentration of truly vile and utterly failed efforts to create powerful art when you start trawling through the annals of “political art.” Even some of the best political art out there is pretty ham-fisted.
But what’s worse than bad art on the left? Bad art on the right. Regardless of your own political stripes, it’s pretty clear that conservatives just didn’t spend enough time at liberal arts schools. Though the right has attempted for years to be culturally relevant via media and art production, it’s never really panned out.
And while the right controls all levers of federal power at the moment, it absolutely has not figured out art and probably never will. Luckily, there isn’t a ton of modern conservative art. Most of them know galleries and museums aren’t a safe space for climate deniers and anti-abortion trolls. But it’s out there, nonetheless.
Without further ado, here are some of the most wretched pieces of conservative art you’re likely to find. (And, don’t worry, galactically bad liberal artists, we see you too.)
8. Liberalism Is a Disease by Jon McNaughton
Have you ever known an artist to need to create a YouTube explainer video to describe the obvious symbolism at play in a painting? And then you end the video with what feels like a call to exterminate anyone on the left? Cool story, guy who makes pathetic YouTube video explainers of his shitty art.
7. Ted Cruz by Sabo
Sabo is one of L.A.’s consistently loud and brash right-wing “street” artists. Like most of his buds, Sabo is conceptually bankrupt and formally boring. Imagine if Mr. Brainwash had an ideology — a really bad one with a really clumsily executed message, but an ideology nonetheless. That’s Sabo. Here’s Sabo’s take on Ted Cruz, which is that he's an outlaw badass? Or something? Fuck both of you for making me think of Ted Cruz.
6. “The Hashtag Series” by Gavin McInnes
Gavin McInnes used to be a Vice guy before segueing into life as a Fox pundit who refers to himself as “alt-lite.” He's a whiny man-child MRA “artist” who made a photo series last year about “white slavery” (video above), trying to take back all the privileges that cis white guys have lost since civil rights (like, for example, that age-old tradition of drunk white guys wearing Native headdresses). As one YouTube commenter suggested, you can smell the booze on this YouTube clip. Let's all collectively flush this alt-lite turd.
5. Republicans Are the New Punk by Sabo
Many right wing/alt-right/alt-lite fanboys have been repeating some variation of the refrain, “Republican is the new punk rock,” which it definitely is not. In this guerrilla bus bench ad posted around L.A., Sabo is trying to convince the world that “Republicans are the new punk” when, in reality, Republicans are fucking terrible at creating art or culture of any merit. The only reason Republicans have power is because the Democrats have absolutely no clue what their identity is — but at least it isn't this.
4. The website Hip Hop Republican
So there's this website called Hip Hop Republican that is supposed to be a cultural/political critique website from the perspective of cool black Republicans. But it's not so much a website as it is art. Really, really mindless and bad, unintentional art. But art nonetheless. I dare you to poke around its various pages, where you'll find horrifying hot takes like, “The Black Case Against Voting.”
3. “Twinks for Trump” by Lucien Wintrich
Of all these on the list, I can actually get down with “Twinks for Trump” the most. It's both funny and sad and probably the only thing on this godforsaken list I'd consider putting up, at least as something I could throw darts or knives at. And it's all in the name: empty, pseudo-provocative portraits of the so-called Twinks for Trump, i.e., several dozen gay boys with baby faces wearing MAGA hats. You know: art.
2. Dilbert by Scott Adams
During the last Kafka-esque election cycle, Dilbert creator Scott Adams emerged as one of the worst voices in an infinite sea of political-pundit inanity over the past year or two. He's an absolutely unhinged person with a lot of money and free time, thanks to the success of Dilbert, which somehow gave a voice and identity to technocratic libertarian MRA cucks all over America, specifically to its own creator. Above you'll find six hours of the categorically irrelevant Dilbert cartoon series.
1. Anything by Thomas Kinkade
The prize goes to the late Thomas Kinkade, father of the unfortunate American mall-art movement. Now there are many paintings by the Grand Poobah of conservative American art, and they’re all equally successful at painting some idyllic, lily-white vision of conservative utopian American ideals. Besides his sketchy personal life, he was also a capitalist who represented all the failings of the free-market, neoliberal conservatism that has marred so much of the last 40 years.
CORRECTION: This post was updated to amend misleading language regarding Gavin McInnes' political associations.