The actor and rapper Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, can now add a new title to his list of revolving roles: creative consultant for the Andrew Yang campaign. The Democratic presidential candidate announced yesterday that Glover is now officially on board to design merchandise, including sweatshirts, hats, and posters.
The news comes after Glover co-sponsored a recent campaign event in downtown Los Angeles, where limited-edition products he created, all signed by Yang, were available for purchase, ranging in price from $25 to $1,000. Shoppers could choose a blue hat emblazoned with “1K: Yang Gang 2020,” a reference to Yang’s plan to provide $1,000 a month to every American adult, or a poster portraying the candidate bedecked by the American flag and surrounded by the phrase, “This is the simulation where we win.”
In joining the Yang Gang, Glover counts himself among the dozens of prominent artists and creatives who have assisted with campaign imagery in the past. The most iconic is arguably Shepard Fairey’s Hope graphic for Barack Obama in 2008, which, per Artnet News’ Ben Davis, “created a color palette and starry-eyed aesthetic that have become political cliché.”
In 2016, Carrie Mae Weems supported Hillary Clinton with her campaign project “The Power of Your Vote,” a four-minute video which featured audio of Obama set to slow-motion footage of New Yorkers on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens. Other artists, from Deborak Kass to Wendy White, Molly Smith, and Olek, also made unofficial pro-Clinton work in the last election cycle.
It is more difficult to cite artists making work in support of Donald Trump, with no big-name creatives currently associated with his former or current re-election campaign. The perhaps best-known pro-Trump artist is Andy Thomas of Carthage, Missouri, who created the painting that depicts the president socializing with former Republican presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. The work went viral last year when it was spotted hanging in the White House during a segment on 60 Minutes. There’s also John McNaughton, who has painted bizarre portraits of Trump cruising with Melania on a motorcycle, or sitting on a park bench holding a fishing rod.
Though further details on Glover’s forthcoming work with the presidential-hopeful remain mum, a press release from Yang’s team stated: “The specialized merchandise embodies the core policies and values of Andrew Yang’s Humanity First platform and future collaborations are expected.” Perhaps Glover is fired up enough about Yang’s campaign to create something as stirring as his 2018 “This is America” video—except this time he could tackle robot automation, universal basic income, and the power of math.
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