Inspired by an influx of so-called "tech bros" and "woo girls" partying in his neighborhood, Capitol Hill-based artist John Criscitello uses paper art to incite dialogue around the community's fading LGBT identity.
Last year, large posters started appearing in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood: studded fists surrounded by the words “We bash back,” a nod to an apparent uptick in anti-gay hate crimes. Young men guzzling beer in baseball caps, declaring “I hope no [derogatory word referring to gay men] look at me.” And perhaps most prominently, white women with flowing hair clutching clear cocktails, with the onomatopoeic “Wooo!” floating in a speech bubble above their tiaras. The street art has incited much dialogue in the community about the changing demographics of a rapidly growing Capitol Hill, and it’s even inspired other artists to create work protesting what they see as the dilution of their neighborhood’s identity.
John Criscitello is the visual artist behind the original “woo girl,” and he spent some time with The Seattle Times to discuss how he uses his work to illustrate his perspective on Capitol Hill’s wavering status as a safe haven for Seattle’s LGBT community.