Mark Milian at the LA Times blog misses a few fundamental points about political speech and street art: it’s not political speech until someone injects the politics, and it’s not street art until it hits the streets.

When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?
Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?
Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.

When you ask a vague question like “Who is behind the image?,” you may as well say Time magazine, their photographer, Bill Finger and Bob Kane. It’s not the image that matters, but the context. When Milian blithely dismisses the Obama-as-Joker Socialism poster as a college student’s PhotoShop experiment, intentionally or not, he obscures the reality of the question: it’s not the image of Obama as the Joker, but the image in the context of the word SOCIALISM, in the context of a poster plastered in a city landscape.
The context of art is everything, and the artist, whom Milian calls a “still-anonymous rogue,” has yet to be unmasked.