What if you could mix and match different features of each presidential candidate to create your one ideal pick? Ben Carson’s weirdly calming presence here, Bernie Sanders’ Brooklyn accent there and maybe a dash of Donald Trump’s cash flow.
San Francisco-based artist and Bernie Sanders fan Hannah Rothstein has figured out a way to do just that. Well, with physical features, at least. Rothstein, who previously brought us a collection of Thanksgiving meals plated by famous artists, decided to get a bit more topical this time around. Simply put, her latest project turns presidential candidates into Mr. (and Mrs.) Potato Heads.
“It seemed like the perfect integration of medium and message,” Rothstein tells TIME. “I wanted to draw parallels between games and the political scene right now, and also represent the common concern that politicians are all the same underneath.”
Rothstein hand-sculpted and painted the individual parts and then did some light digital editing to get things perfect. (You’ll notice Sanders has perfectly tousled hair.)
You’ll also notice that some candidates are holding props, which Rothstein says were “designed to address some of the more contentious discussion topics.” Carly Fiorina, who has made attacks on reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood a theme of her candidacy, is seen holding a fetus. Rothstein felt a bit uncomfortable about including it at first, but decided it felt relevant to the issues the country is debating. She also included money bags because she sees it as a key element of politics. “It’s like a playing piece: the more you have, the more you play it, the better you’ll do, even if you’re not necessarily the best candidate.”
Unfortunately, the political Potato Heads are not available for sale, but Rothstein would be open to figuring out a way to manufacture them. In the meantime, she hopes the project will help people think a bit more critically about the election.
“With these Potato Heads, you can swap out the features in myriad combinations,” Rothstein says. “And no matter the combination you choose, they’re all going to be the same. At their base, they’re all the same.”
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