Society

Trump Hotel Receives Unwelcomed Message (Photos)

| by David Bonner

The political multimedia artist Robin Bell is at it again.

On May 15, Bell projected the words "Pay Trump Bribes Here" on the front of President Donald Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C., reports the Daily Mail.

From a van parked across the street, he also projected the entirety of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits U.S. officials from accepting foreign gifts.

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"Something like the emoluments can be a tough concept, so whatever I can do to make it more accessible -- it's even better if it's funny," he explained.

Bell was hoping to call attention to accusations that Trump is allowing foreign leaders to pay for access by staying at a Trump property just a few blocks from the White House, notes CNN. "It's a pretty clear cut example of impropriety," Bell said in an interview with the network. "This is not like politics as usual. The rules and the lines are being pushed so far and this seemed to be so clear to me."

Bell's projection got a mostly favorable response from the public. Tourists on a tour bus cheered and clapped in response, he noted. "The reaction on the street was just special. Someone who's walking down the street isn't expecting it. They're not paying for it, so it's an honest moment. They can stop what they're doing and take it in. If it's funny or timely, it does create a connection," he said.

"I'm really happy about what happened tonight, because it's kind of depressing right now," he told the Daily Mail. "We need as much visual, positive reinforcement, as we can."

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Bell's May 15 caper was the fifth time he has projected messages onto the Trump International Hotel. In November, he projected the words "Experts Agree: Trump is a Pig" on the building. Then he projected "100 days of pollution" to commemorate Trump's 100th day in office.

"We're the unofficial resident artists of the Trump Hotel," he joked. "They keep on giving us material to work with."

Bell began using video projections politically during the Occupy Wall Street movement. "Arts are what inform people. It's for discussion, where community comes together," he said. "One of the things that connects us is art."

He makes his living with his company, Bell Visuals, which provides video services for corporations and non-profit organizations. According to his company website, he was the lead video editor of PBS television show "Foreign Exchange" with Fareed Zakaria.

But he promises to continue his political activities on the side. "There will be a lot more projections to come," he said. "We're going to keep going."

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN, Bell Visuals / Photo credit: Mike Maguire via Wikimedia Commons, Liz Gorman via Daily Mail

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