Not long after Americans learned that President Donald Trump leaked highly classified information to Russian officials, on Monday night, around 10 p.m., the Washington, D.C.-based artist Robin Bell decided to air his frustrations even more publicly than most.
He headed to the capital’s Trump International Hotel, which has become something of a cafeteria for foreign diplomats, and, using a projector, broadcast messages like “PAY TRUMP BRIBES HERE,” with an arrow pointing at the entrance, directly onto the building’s ostentatious façade.
Hotel security quickly intervened, but not before Bell could squeeze in a few more phrases from the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution, some overlaid over images of Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Saudi Arabian flags.
This wasn’t the first time Bell has aimed his protest at the Trump International: Shortly after the election, he projected “EXPERTS AGREE: TRUMP IS A PIG” onto the same façade.
Interestingly, his actions are, after all, mostly legal—unlike spray paint, a projected image is temporary, and doesn’t fall under any “illegal posting of advertisements.” And Bell is not the first artist to take advantage of the lax law.
From Robert Mapplethorpe circumventing his own censorship to Jenny Holzer showcasing declassified Iraqi war documents, here’s a brief history of artist-made political projections, here.