A four-story mural of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg was completed in downtown San Francisco on Monday, but the artist and organizer's choice of subject has rubbed at least one person the wrong way.
Tomi Lahren, a conservative political commentator and Fox Nation host, took to Twitter to criticize the tribute to Thunberg, whose impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit inspired many to discuss and seek action around climate change. Lahren took issue with the fact that it was completed on Veteran’s Day, asking if it would “be too much to have a tribute mural to an American veteran or law enforcement officer.”
Would probably be too much to have a tribute mural to an AMERICAN veteran or law enforcement officer who truly sacrificed for the country and community, huh? pic.twitter.com/ayVaBYtxOG— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) November 11, 2019
Immediately, social media users called Lahren out on her opinion, with some suggesting that she paint or fund a mural of her own choosing.
Bust out your paintbrushes and spray cans, Tomatillo. Instead of complaining, get to work on your own mural. Be the change you want to see in the world ... or something like that. Stop complaining. This is art. And it’s beautiful. It doesn’t diminish the service of others 🙄 pic.twitter.com/wUHsnrjtBa— Ninja Poet 🇺🇸💪🏽 (@njapoet) November 12, 2019
This is a logical fallacy. Making a mural of Greta Thurnberg does not equate to murals of veterans or law enforcement officers not being placed elsewhere, as this wall is not the only wall on planet Earth.— Logically Preston (@PrestonTheSnack) November 11, 2019
1) There are murals of such kind as you described all over the US.— Tony (@Armday_everyday) November 11, 2019
2) This girl is making awareness for humanity, Which goes far beyond just AMERICANS.
3) Feel free to sponsor a mural for one of out vets/LEOs?
I know some pretty good artist, ill get you in touch.
There’s literally monuments around the country for veterans and law enforcement. Have you never visited Washington, DC?— Travis Akers (@travisakers) November 11, 2019
Others, however, agreed with Lahren's sentiments.
Excellent point. Sad days sometimes, but bright moments from folks like you. Thanks for truth and light. Our only hope. 🙏— Rick Owen (@reowen0708) November 12, 2019
Not to mention the artist view of her came out as someone to be fearful of. Very scary portrait indeed. And 700 gallons of aerosol (spray paint) isn't that very bad for the you know, Climate? Wow— RealNikky (@happylady6565) November 11, 2019
While many seemed concerned over the environmental repercussions of using spray paint to create the 60-foot-tall by 30-foot wide mural, One Atmosphere, the environmental nonprofit who is sponsoring the art, and artist, Andres Iglesias, who goes by the name Nino Cobre, clarified that the materials used were environmentally friendly.
“The thing is, the sprays I use are eco-friendly, and most of the paint is hand-painted with a roller,” the Argentinian muralist who notably painted a Robin Williams mural in 2018, shortly after the actor died by suicide, told The Art Newspaper. “[It is] water-based so there is zero impact.”
"The finishing details can only be done with spray paint, but we are using spray cans without CFCs. (CFCs are tremendously damaging to the environment). We are using low-pressure cans with a minimal footprint," One Atmosphere wrote on its Instagram page. "The cans have been picked up and delivered in an electric vehicle, and the artist and organizers have been [traveling] almost exclusively by way of electric car, electric scooter or on foot to the project site. The lift being used is also electric, not diesel."
The mural is part of One Atmosphere's Art Celebrating Climate Activists initiative.
"One Atmosphere is thrilled to announce Art Celebrating Climate Activists, to acknowledge their contributions and to amplify their calls for change," One Atmosphere's website reads. "Greta’s importance to the fight against climate change is unmistakable. She has given youth a more powerful voice than ever before, and her FridaysforFuture movement provides a clear message for how we can change for the better."
The mural will be dedicated on Tuesday between 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. PT.
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