Election-Inspired Lowbrow Street Art

The Presidential Elections in January was epochal. Not only did Sri Lanka break free from an authoritative rule, but it also piqued the interest of the selfie-taking Millennials. Putting their mobile phones aside for a few minutes they casted their vote though seconds later they had their phones out as they Instagrammed and tweeted their indelible ink-ed pinkies.

Exercising their franchise for a second time this year; prepared to take their future into their hands yet again, they casted their vote on Monday (17). Followed again with Instagram posts, twitter pictures, and hashtags galore!

Elections Inspired a Lowbrow artist

A week before the general election, one millennial, P413, a well-known lowbrow/graffiti artist, noticed the sudden interest in politics among his friends. He began to ask himself questions, such as why people – who were apathetic in the previous elections— are concerned now? What does this election mean to them? What’s with the pinky-selfie trend? Why do millennials feel the need to make a show of having performed their civic duty?

The face behind P413

The face behind P413

Turning to the internet, P413 swiftly put together a survey and mailed it out to all his contacts. As the responses rolled in P413 analysed and studied the results before interpreting his findings into works of art.

“The results I got were mostly from people in Colombo, so it’s a decent cross-section of young people in Colombo” explains P413. “There were some interesting findings. I was trying to find a relationship between aspects of the questionnaire, for example, I compared responses based on gender – male versus female. I gave them questions based on two opposite ends of the spectrum, whether they were really excited about the elections or whether they couldn’t care less”.

Inspired after the Presidential Election

Inspired after the Presidential Election

Finding answers

P413’s survey explored several interesting ideas. He wanted to know how many young people are influenced by their parents’, whether they cared more for the candidate they were voting for or the party. Explaining his findings he shared, “people who are influenced by their parents are more likely to vote for the party, and the people who said they wanted to make an independent choice were more inclined towards voting for the candidate.

Representation of how many youth follow their parents’ political preferences and how many wanted to make an independent decision

Representation of how many youth follow their parents’ political preferences and how many wanted to make an independent decision

This represents the people who felt like they lost their pinky finger. This guy’s pinky finger is cut off which illustrates that you can’t vote if you don’t have a pinky.

This represents the people who felt like they lost their pinky finger. This guy’s pinky finger is cut off which illustrates that you can’t vote if you don’t have a pinky.

P413 like many other young people understood that the elections are important but weren’t quite sure how to make a solid decision on whom to vote for. He says the personal art project came about as he wanted to find out if there were others who felt the same frustration.

Results portrayed on Dunny

Soon after the general elections, P413 began interpreting the results of his survey into digital art pieces. His style being more street art, he used Dunny as a canvas.

Dunny is a blank rabbit canvas by kidrobot.com. “It was an artistic challenge for me, I had to figure out how I would depict the results about the elections in a street art form, while restricting what I wanted to express in that shape”, says P413, adding “it’s fun, it’s light-hearted, you don’t have to take it too seriously”.

The Guy - This piece of work is based on the result for the guys. 2/3 excited about the general elections and 1/3 bored, notice the two faces.

The Guy – This piece of work is based on the result for the guys. 2/3 excited about the general elections and 1/3 bored, notice the two faces.

The Girl - For every girl that was interested there would be one who wasn’t interested. Certain parts look calm while other parts have some wild things going on, this is to show the duality in their opinions.

The Girl – For every girl that was interested there would be one who wasn’t interested. Certain parts look calm while other parts have some wild things going on, this is to show the duality in their opinions.

A lot of people posted their pinky to show that they voted. I’m not sure if it’s cool, I don’t know what the emotional aspect of doing that is. For me, I hated the colouring of the finger. For a few days it looks awful, like you’ve had a mishap applying nail polish on, and for a guy you’re not used to having colours on your fingers.

“A lot of people posted their pinky to show that they voted. For a few days it looks awful, like you’ve had a mishap applying nail polish on, and for a guy you’re not used to having colours on your fingers” states P413

When asked if he would be selling prints, P413 says he doesn’t know, as it’s a personal art project. He was simply trying to find out if there were others who felt the way he did about the elections and he wanted to know where he fit in.; in his quest to find answers he created little works of arts.

Related Articles