- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - An artist known for his controversial artwork in Detroit has completed a project that calls for the demolition of abandoned homes while also commenting on the upcoming presidential election.

Ryan Mendoza, an American artist living in Europe, covered two deserted houses in northwest Detroit that are almost next-door neighbors with white paint, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/29XAYQm ) reported.

He drilled bullet-sized holes to form the name “Clinton” on one home and “Trump” on the other. At night, the candidates’ names glow with LED lights.

The project began when John O’Malley, whose home sits in the middle of the two painted houses, told Mendoza about the challenges of blighted homes in his neighborhood. Mendoza offered to buy the houses and pay for demolition costs.

Mendoza said O’Malley’s home reflects how the Detroit resident is stuck in between the two houses, no matter who is elected.

“It doesn’t seem like we’ll win no matter who wins,” O’Malley said. “To me it’s embarrassing, the choice of candidates we have. I have never liked the political system.”

Mendoza’s previous project, called “The White House,” used materials from an abandoned house in Detroit to reconstruct a home as a work of art in Europe. The piece generated controversy in Detroit when the original home took months to be completely demolished.

“I can see how it would be perceived as, ‘Here (Mendoza) is at it again,’” said Jonathan Pommerville, a community activist who volunteered his help with the most recent project. “But there’s a message to be had with this. . Our neighborhoods are in desperate need.”


Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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