Street Art or Destruction?

The distinction between thought provoking street art and the vandalism of graffiti

Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to him in 2007
(Photo via under the Creative Commons License)

Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to him in 2007 (Photo via under the Creative Commons License)

British street artist Banksy once proclaimed that, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” Embodying the controversy behind the wreckage of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past Wednesday the 26th of October.

Trump was originally awarded his star in January 2007 for an estimated cost of $30,000. Democrat James Lambert went undercover as a construction worker in full uniform with barriers and used a pick-axe and a sledge hammer to deface Trump’s star. Otis took a stand for the multitude of sexual assault victims against Trump, where he discusses in an interview with the Daily News the sexual abuse suffered by his friends and family members.

This is the eighth time throughout the 2016 presidential election that his star has faced some form of destruction, such as graffiti of a mute sign and a small wall around the perimeter of the star to represent his controversial opinions on immigration.

Twitter and other social media platforms erupted in outrage as a man who is believed to be of the Latino descent was seen fixing the star. Twitter user Jimmy, @nvrralone, tweeted, “While you call Latinos “rapists and murders” here’s a #Latino repairing your star. @realDonaldTrump.”

L.A. due to its liberal nature, contains a community of individuals with a strong bias towards Hillary Clinton and former candidate Bernie Sander. Driving down the crowded L.A. highways and famous boulevards, it is common to see stickers advocating for the democratic candidates. With the anti-republican nature due to a heavy liberal population, Otis’ act appears as a political petition compared to an act of disrespect.

Respected and veteran street artist such as Banksy and D*Face employ their artistic ability and punk rock attitude to show political corruption. In 2010, Banksy took a DTLA parking sign and morphed the sign to emphasize simply the word “PARK,” with a mural of a young girl on a swing attached to the “A.” This piece represents a local DTLA community fighting for rights to create a new park, showing the need for nature and a safe location for children in contrast to vast parking structures buried in clouds of smog.

Though this street art is a form of petition, is it right to target someone of this social status as he may be our forty-fifth president? Should this political petition be classified as street art, a political message to raise awareness against corruption, or graffiti, a crime of vandalism? You be the judge.

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