Artists Rei Ramirez and Ivan Roque based their recent mural, When Pigs Fly, on a simple premise: If Donald Trump were to win the presidency, surely we'd all be seeing swine swooping through the air.
But like pollsters, media pundits, and roughly half Americans, the two were wrong. Trump is the president-elect of the United States, and you won't be seeing flying pigs anywhere — not even in the mural, which was removed from the side of the New Florida Majority building Saturday.
Ramirez, Roque, and New Florida Majority agreed to requests from the building's owner and tenants to remove the artwork, according to a release from the organization.
"The mural has been hugely popular with motorists and other passersby. People are constantly stopping and taking pictures," New Florida Majority executive director Gihan Perera said in a statement. "However, the building's landlord and neighborhood businesses are getting a lot of pressure and are fearful of potential vandalism and harm to their businesses now that the election is over and Trump has won."
When Pigs Fly was conceived by Perera and artists Ramirez and Roque shortly before last week's presidential election. It depicted Trump as a suited-up pig with wings, leading a handful of swine on a flight through blue skies. When it debuted two weeks ago, Ramirez told New Times it wasn't intended to offend: "We wanted people to get a chuckle out of it... something light and funny."
But in light of increased vandalism, intimidation, and attacks against women, people of color, Muslims, and members of the LGBT community in the days since Trump was elected, Perera said, the mural was at risk of becoming a target for violence.
"The atmosphere seems very tense and dangerous. With acts of vandalism popping up around the country, often based on racist motives, we are taking the mural down for the safety of our neighbors and members," he said.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The side of the building where the mural appeared is now white. But Perera plans to replace the piece with new artwork — something, perhaps, with more serious intent.
"Art can be inspirational, and we hope that soon we'll be able to put up something that will help visually remind people that the promise of this nation and the beauty of its diversity has not been extinguished," he said. "We still believe in a Miami and a nation that welcomes all of us and that in unity there is strength."