Billion Dollar Babies: Artist Statement

By Bryan Morris

We focused on three different aspects of Campaign Finance. One topic was around Campaign Finance in Congress and how Citizens United has affected it, focusing on power play between corporations and congress people. Another topic focuses on ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) and how they work around campaign finance regulations, as well as their effect on legislature. The last topic is about how the 2016 presidential election and the issues surrounding the use of private money put into campaign finance, and how Sanders and Trump’s approaches to campaigning are changing the race. We had some trouble choosing the right movie poster and narrative to focus on to create a successful parody around the topic, but we all eventually settled on the idea of a poster that satirizes the 2016 Presidential election. From our several ideas, we chose the “Million Dollar Baby” movie poster, knowing it had the most potential.

The final movie poster reflects on the 2016 Presidential Election and how corporations and their families are donating millions of dollars to candidates within the race, except for the self-funded Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, and grass roots Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. In the top left of the poster is Jeb Bush, who has the most private donations and biggest Super PAC. He is currently down in the polls, which doesn’t follow the old norm of campaigning where the man with the money usually wins. In the center is Hillary Clinton, who receives her money from Wall Street and large contributions from political figures and companies. Last but not least, the top right is Donald Trump, who is the only self-funded candidate. We created the parody “Billion Dollar Babies” to highlight the 2016 Presidential election and how the Super PACs are no longer helping presidential candidates.

We had some trouble trying to change the poster to make it look like a real movie poster, as well as a issues figuring out whose heads we wanted on which people in the poster. We changed the bottom of the text to show the people and corporations funding the candidates. One of the elements we changed was, “Warner Bros presents” to “The Wilks Bros presents.” By switching this, it emphasizes how much the Wilks Brothers have influence in the Presidential election. Overall, we are happy with our poster and feel like the satire came across in a readable way.  

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