On the Frontline: Marilyn Minter Rebells Against Trump in Pop-Up Shop

On the Frontline: Marilyn Minter Rebells Against Trump in Pop-Up Shop

Minter's "Anger Management" pop-up is hosted by the Brooklyn Museum and features works from over 70 artists to raise money for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Minter's "Anger Management" pop-up is hosted by the Brooklyn Museum and features works from over 70 artists to raise money for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Text: Christina Cacouris

Following last year's tour-de-force retrospective Pretty/Dirty, Marilyn Minter is reuniting with the Brooklyn Museum to present a pop-up shop entitled "Anger Management," with over 70 artists coming together to create pieces to raise money for Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and other charities in an act of rebellion and resistance against the current administration. From Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger to Andrew Kuo and Jordan Wolfson (and even an addition from Jerry Saltz!), the pop-up comprises buttons, tattoos, thongs, hats, t-shirts—and even a large-scale rainbow LED cross.

Proceeds go to Planned Parenthood and ACLU

A post shared by Marilyn Minter (@marilynminter) on

Artists have long been proponents of political activism, notes co-curator Andrianna Campbell, citing a 1968 exhibition and benefit at the Museum of Modern Art which saw a host of artists including Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mark Rothko donating works after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. to benefit the civil rights organization he founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "So there's been this precedent of artists being really involved politically. It's very difficult now; how can you stay involved when there's so much going on?"

"We don't want people to get complacent," says Minter. "This is not the new normal."

Minter, who has been an activist since her teenage years, has been especially outspoken throughout the Trump campaign and subsequent presidency, having helped found the Dear Ivanka Halt Action Group. I ask her: what would you say to the youth who feel discouraged, who feel that their marching hasn't yielded any results? "I’d say Graham-Cassidy, or all the other Trumpcare bills," she replies. "The resistance made that not happen. And in the '60s, you have to remember people were dying in Vietnam—but they’re also dying in Flint, Michigan and in Puerto Rico. Because of the consequences of this administration, people are going to start dying more, especially as they get rid of ACA. So we’re just starting, we’re getting organized. We’ve got four more years. "

"Organizing, in terms of marching, is really important," agrees Campbell. "But what do you do between then? This is why we came up with this idea to make these products to benefit these organizations but also to remind people that they can have hope in the everyday."

Neon Cross by Jonathan Horowitz

"Now is the time that we have to hear from each other," says Jerry Saltz, who contributed a "This is not America" t-shirt to the cause (a reference, of course, to the David Bowie song, though he reports many "geezers" have been outraged by the sentiment). "I believe that we’ve come to a shift in the resistance. I think we have to get over the word 'resistance.' On one level it’s an insult to the people that really fought the Nazi’s in the Second World War, they call themselves the resistance and gave their lives for it. Also, to me, 'resistance' is a reactive word. I want to change the word to 'rebellion,' and even to 'revolt.' In the art world, rebellion and revolt are our middle names, and that should come easily and naturally to us."

Running until November 12, the pop-up was done without a budget and without a team larger than Minter, Campbell, and Chad Phillips, the Museum's Director of Merchandising. Most of the artists involved had to produce their contributions themselves, including Minter: "We did everything on a wing and a prayer," she says. "My kids [assistants Adam Porter, Johann Olander, and Phil Ashley] are all activists in their spare time."

"It only takes, in this instance, three people," adds Campbell. "If you have spirit, and you're willing, you can do it."

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