WHEN STREET ARTISTS INVADE – My American readers, please make Mr Drew welcome as he draws on your walls:
It’s much easier to be controversial online. When you take a divisive message into the street, it presents a far more unpredictable set of variables.
Especially when your message is about gun control and your audience is America.
Acclaimed Australian street artist Peter Drew is about to tackle the hottest issue in the US in his own unique way — by plastering 500 posters with the words “Australia” and “it works” on walls around New York City, San Franciso and Los Angeles.
The South Australian-based artist behind the Real Australians Say Welcome campaign knows that by doing so he’ll make a lot of people unhappy. And that’s part of the job.
“To be honest, there’s a certain amount of fear and anxiety,” Mr Drew told news.com.au.
“You don’t know what the response is going to be like. Online it’s safe to be provocative but when you’re sticking stuff up on the street you’re exposed. I worry about that but that’s what’s special about the street.”
The message is indeed simple – and wrong. I have written on this topic before in “9 points about the American and their guns” so I won’t repeat myself too much, except to say again that Australia’s outlawing and the compulsory buy-back of semi-automatic weapons in the ’90s cannot be held as a policy template since the differences (legal and practical) between Australia and the United States are simply too great. I’m all for injecting oneself into other countries’ political debates – I do it all the time – but it helps to know something about the other countries’ realities – otherwise it’s just another virtue signal.
P.S. I have written about Peter Drew before.