News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 26, 2018: A Haitian-American artist has seen his illustration – a calm Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., covering the mouth of Donald Trump, go viral, almost a year after the piece was created and on the heels of the President’s now infamous “sh–hole” remark.
Watson Mere, who was born in Florida but now lives in Philadelphia, created the art in Microsoft Paint last year, amid the swirl of the King holiday and Trump’s inauguration.
The illustration, called “My Brother’s Keeper,” struck a chord and was photographed at the women’s march a year ago and posted to social-media, where it received a quarter-million likes last summer.
“Basically the picture is an image of Martin Luther King,” says Mere. “He’s extending his hand out to cover the mouth of our current president while he’s tweeting away.”
But following the alleged ‘s-hole’ comment, the image gained new life on social media and went viral.
“The remarks seemed to add a different energy behind the piece,” Watson told the Washington Post of his illustration’s newfound fame.
“The picture is a gentle rebuke to Trump,” Mere added in a PRI interview. “And [King is] just wishing and hoping that Trump would think with a more equality-type of mind rather than the negative stuff that he has been putting out into the universe.”
Mere, who has no formal training in art, has been creating art since he was a young child. Until age four, he experienced a delay in his speech and could not verbally communicate. His teachers introduced him to art in order to help him fully express himself. This was Mere’s beginning.
When he was 11, Mere says he was introduced to the computer program, Microsoft Paint. This became his medium.
Mere says he finds inspiration from the love, struggles, happiness, and pain of the people of the African Diaspora. He says each piece is designed to spark the viewer’s imagination and to interpret the work of art that stands before them.
With the screen as his canvas and the mouse as his “brush,” Mere meticulously transforms social issues like race, poverty and religion, into extraordinarily rare and unique works of art. This is his passion.
“I hope [my art] allows people to think. I want to inspire them – make them contemplate something. I want to give people something to consider that they don’t see on a daily basis. I want to help them think and use their imagination,” he states.
Of Trump’s remarks he told PRI: “I try not to let much that he says get to me. But that one hit a special place for me and for millions of Haitians because the anniversary of the [Haitian] earthquake was around the same time.”
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