PHOENIX – A billboard with an anti-Donald Trump message is stirring controversy in Phoenix.
The billboard stands on the 1000 block of Grand Avenue, and is reportedly the work of a female artist named Karen Fiorito.
“I got the opportunity to have a platform to say something, and I took that opportunity, and I take full responsibility for it,” said Fiorito. She said the Limited Liability Corporation, an organization in Phoenix that supports the arts, gave her a platform to make a statement about Trump.
The billboard contains a picture of Donald Trump, with mushroom clouds in the background, and dollar signs that bear some resemblance to the swastika on each side. On the other side of the same billboard, however, is a billboard containing sign language that reads “unity”.
According to the artist, there is a lot to the billboard, and people can interpret it how they want. On Friday, people expressed mixed emotions about it, in the area where the billboard was put up.
“I think this is the greatest thing that I’ve seen in a long time,” said Mike Bolenbach. “I think everything Donald Trump is doing is destroying America from the inside.”
“Take it to your house!” said Jeff Whiteman. “I live right here, I have to wake up to this every day. Disrespectful.”
“There’s a lot of tension right now in the air, and I’m trying to express that for a lot of people who feel they don’t have a voice right now,” said Fiorito. She went on to say that at the heart of this lies the issue of Freedom of Speech.
“I do feel like we are headed down a road of destruction,” said Fiorito. “So, that’s my expression and I think I have the right to say that, and they do believe me.”
According to a website purportedly owned by Fiorito, the artist has worked on other billboard projects in California. One set of billboards, according to pictures posted onto the website, contains themes that can be interpreted as anti-conservative.
Another billboard project, according to photos posted onto the website, deals with California’s drought.
For others, however, the billboard disrespected Trump.
“I don’t necessarily agree with the leader of our country and all the things going on, but I would not disrespect him or any leader,” said Whiteman. He lives near the sign, and now says he won’t look out one of his windows.