Gowanus anti-Trump sign joins nabe’s elevated billboard tradition

Gowanus anti-Trump sign joins nabe’s elevated billboard tradition
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It is a sign of the times.

A new sign flashing “resist” and “racist” has appeared on the Gowanus skyline, joining the neighborhood’s lineup of iconic billboards that have greeted straphangers along the elevated F and G track for aeons.

But unlike the old marquees advertising Kentile Floors and Bruno Truck Sales, the words beaming out of the Ninth Street building’s third-floor window is a decidedly political message aimed at President Trump rather than consumers, according to its creator.

“I was feeling really angry a few weeks ago, and the idea hit me out of nowhere that I could use the windows as a canvas,” said local photographer Ashton Worthington.

The projection illuminating from Worthington’s canal-side studio rotates through the words, also including “regime,” “scream,” “redeem,” and “enlist,” as first reported by blog Brooklyn Pulp.

Worthington rigged up the projection in a single day last month, creating a digital video animating the various words, with the letters distorted so they appear straight and narrow to people viewing it at an oblique angle.

“I wanted it to be very simple and aggressive,” he said.

The installation is visible from the Smith-Ninth station, but pedestrians at ground-level haven’t really taken notice so far, Worthington says.

“I’ve been outside a bit and nobody looks up,” he said,

Another wrinkle is that the shutterbug is now starting to miss his view, as the artwork takes up all his window space

“We have a spectacular view there and it’s an incredible bright sunny space during the day, so it’s a bummer not to be able to look out during the day,”

But the lensman isn’t ready to can his creation just yet, and says he plans on tinkering with it and adding more words in the future.

And one day, he might even pay tribute to the neighborhood’s legendary signs of yesteryear.

“I was thinking, ‘God, I should definitely work up a Kentile projection to put up,” Worthington said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Man with a message: Photographer Ashton Worthington poses in front of his sign.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini