A new mural in Los Angeles memorializes Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap while bringing attention to the war in Ukraine.
The mural, which is predominately painted in shades of grey, black, and white, shows Smith slapping Russian President Vladimir Putin — instead of Chris Rock.
Smith and Putin’s caricatures are outlined in Ukrainian colors: yellow and blue. A speech bubble above Smith reads: “Keep Ukraine out your fucking mouth.”
It’s a satirical piece of art that the artist, Todd Goodman, hopes will get people thinking more about what’s going on in Ukraine. In an interview with HuffPost, Goodman said that he used that specific image for the mural because he wanted to “draw attention to this obviously more important subject of war, and the humanitarian crisis facing Ukrainians.”
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“Given the proximity to Hollywood, I wanted to use this moment, this town, this ridiculous situation, to draw attention to the war, with the hopes of not only raising awareness but also to raise money for humanitarian aid,” Goodman told HuffPost.
The California-based ESL teacher a.k.a. 1GoodHombre in the art world, painted the mural in the Fame Yard parking lot on Melrose Avenue, alongside Ukrainian artists Alex Pilkevych, Liza Onatsko, George Zhyvotovskyi, and Sergey Podgurskiy.
The artwork has been ready for the world to see since Sunday (April 17). Goodman hopes his anti-Putin art will also inspire others to donate to a good cause. Besides the picture of Smith slapping Putin, there’s a QR code that takes people to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
“If people could only learn to channel their emotions through creative expression, through art, through language, instead of resorting to violence to achieve their goals, the world would be a much better place,” Goodman said. “Make art, not war. My paintings, like a comedian’s words, are not violent. They could never hurt another person, only maybe a person’s feelings, and we have ways of dealing with hurt feelings that do not require violence.”
Check out the picture of the mural below via Goodman’s Instagram below:
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