Warning: Graphic content
PORTLAND, Ore. – A Portland art gallery is being bombarded with negative comments and reviews after it debuted a politically-charged show on Friday.
One Grand Gallery on East Burnside launched a show called “F*** You Mr. President.” The show includes art from more than two dozen artists, all critical of President Donald Trump.
One piece in particular has ignited backlash from both sides of the aisle. One artist created an image of the president, with a faceless man behind him, holding a bloody knife to his throat.
“You're encouraging violence and even the murder of a united states president,” wrote one woman on One Grand Gallery's Facebook page. She said she is not a Trump supporter.
“Kiddo, I've lived through a presidential assassination. This isn't cute. It's repulsive. And I didn't even vote for the dude,” another woman wrote.
One Grand Gallery had displayed the violent image on their storefront window. It’s since been taken down.
The artist, Compton Creep, defended the artistic integrity of the mural. "It's an artistic interpretation of the chaos going on right now, nothing more," the artist said.
Since Friday, more than 1,000 comments have been posted to the gallery's Facebook page, most of which condemn the show and the violent image.
The gallery’s Facebook reviews have also taken a hit – it’s now rated 1.2 stars out of 5 stars. More than 1,800 reviews have been posted so far and new negative reviews are still rolling in.
One Grand Gallery stood by its show, despite the negative reviews.
“The same people offended over a “death threat” are the same people upholding death threats & violence. Irony,” the gallery posted on Facebook. (That post has been removed.)
Some are calling for the gallery to be investigated for threatening the president’s life.
It is illegal to threaten the president of the United States, but the gallery’s show likely constitutes free speech. The law stipulates that the threat needs to constitute a “true threat” in which someone seriously intends to harm or kill the president.
It's difficult to prove verbal or image-based threats as a "true threat." A Time magazine article explains that before the 2008 election, a man threatened to shoot presidential candidate Barack Obama in the head with the exact caliber of bullet he had in his home.
The man was convicted of threatening a presidential candidate, but a court later reversed that decision, ruling that his threat constituted free speech.