Monday, May 13, 2019

Facebook Bans Artist Who Destroys MAGA Hats For Her Work

MD artist Kate Kretz rips MAGA hats apart and refashions the pieces into traditional symbols of hate, such as KKK hoods and nazi armbands. The works are meant to both call out wearers who claim the hats to be innocuous, and to sound the alarm that history is repeating itself. One piece features a MAGA hat disassembled thread by thread, resulting in a large pile of unraveled strands with only the shredded "Make America Great Again" text and the flag patch (turned upside down as a symbol of distress) remaining intact. The work is displayed in a baseball hat collector's mirrored display box, with an engraved brass plate reading "The Disease That Thought It Was The Cure." All of the images from the ongoing series received an overwhelmingly positive response with hundreds of comments when originally posted to Facebook. One of the pieces sold to a prominent collector within days.
In the early days of May, several of Kretz's images from the series were removed from Facebook. When she protested their removal, and later re-posted them with prominent text explaining that they were artworks, even more were censored. On the morning of Thursday, May 9th, she found that her account had been disabled. She again explained through the Facebook response form that she was an art professor and professional artist, making work with MAGA hats, calling them out as symbols of aggression and intolerance. As of Monday morning, she has not yet had her Facebook page (a vital tool for connecting people to her creative work) reinstated.

At this time, it is not clear whether one (or several) of the MAGA supporters who objected to her work reported it, or whether the images were censored by Facebook's new anti-hate speech implementation (with image recognition software?) gone awry. Facebook has not responded since her page was removed. Kretz, a several-time MD Council for the Arts grantee whose work has been widely exhibited and reviewed, finds it disconcerting that Facebook lets random censors decide if her work is art and whether it will reach her audience. As Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently stated in a May 9th NPR interview, "Mark Zuckerberg is unaccountable. He's unaccountable to his shareholders. He's unaccountable to his users, and he's unaccountable to government."
Kretz's ongoing MAGA Hat series can be seen at
Hate Hat
2019, deconstructed MAGA hats, cotton, thread, 28 x 9 x 12", edition of 3. Manuel de Santaren collection, two remaining.
"Hate Hat II, Dismantled: The Disease That Thought It Was The Cure"
2019, unravelled MAGA hat (ripped apart thread by thread), baseball cap display case (mirrors, plexiglass, wood), engraved brass plate, 8 x 9 x 8.5” (working photo). 
Only The Terrorized Own The Right To Name Symbols Of Terror
2019, armband made of deconstructed MAGA hats, cotton, thread, 5 1/4 x 6 x 6” (working photo)
cell: 336.266.9678


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Artists, performers and writers always come up against censors and silencers. Censorship is the assassination of ideas. Hang in there if you can, everyone. I think this Drumpf Republican crime syndicate is coming down probably sooner than we realize.


Warren G. Richards
Advocate, Socio-political Writer

3:57 PM  
Blogger THE DUDE said...


9:43 PM  
Anonymous TK said...

Kate - these are very powerful pieces of art ! Keep on keeping on ! There are more people who will be moved in a positive direction than the trolls who don't know anything but blame, fear, and hatred. I admire you and what you have created.

8:26 AM  

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