How Pepe the Frog Explains America's Toxic Politics

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By Artnet News. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
When San Francisco-based artist Matt Furie created a zine in 2005 featuring a rag-tag group of immature adolescent animals, including a heavy-lidded frog named Pepe, he had no idea that his humble drawing would become a flashpoint for roiling cultural and political tensions across the world. A new documentary titled Feels Good Man, directed by Arthur Jones and produced by Giorgio Angelini, charts the story of Matt Furie and his creation. On this week's episode of the Art Angle, Jones and Angelini speak with Artnet News's chief critic Ben Davis about cultural appropriation, freedom of speech, and the power of images in the digital landscape. The story of Pepe is a story of Internet culture at its best and worst—from being transformed into an innocent meme to its designation as a hate symbol is both a cautionary tale and a triumph.

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