Frog Speech oil painting art by Natalie Buske Thomas 2017

This oil painting is about censorship. Artist statement: The first frog to go was Pepe. Some used the cartoon frog in memes that were anti-globalist, negative to the Clinton campaign, and generally pro-Trump. Some alt-right groups and/or racist groups were associated with using Pepe in their messages, but the branding of the cartoon frog as a hate symbol appeared to be more about shutting down a (negative to Clinton campaign) political movement than about censoring a racist frog. Regardless, not everyone who enjoyed the Pepe character saw it as political or racist. However, Pepe was allowed to be banned with no real resistance. Next, the Gab frog was considered a symbol of hate, with the excuse that alt-right and/or racists used the Gab.ai platform that was billed as a “free speech” platform and was used by a diverse group of people. Nonetheless, the branding of Gab and the frog icon Gabby was allowed to be condemned and censored by app stores, others, with no real resistance or government protection from censorship. Last, we see the action of painting an actual, real frog. That too is censored.. mean to represent how the artist’s works are censored, the act of painting is therefore censored, and… due to blacklists and algos, the artist herSELF is censored. Is this freedom? Are we free?

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