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Meme girl: a Sarasota artist's "Trash Dove" goes viral.

IT TOOK ABOUT A WEEK for Sarasota illustrator and Ringling College of Art and Design graduate Syd Weiler to go viral.

On Jan. 31, Facebook posted a link to download Weiler's "Trash Dove" stickers, a series of animated drawings of a head-banging purple pigeon that users could post and share with friends. After appearing in a Thai video with a dancing cat--at press time, the video had 5.2 million views--the floppy bird exploded on Facebook. Fans have mashed up the meme with countless others and even dressed up as the bird in real life, and Weiler's creations and face keep appearing on Thai TV. White nationalists even launched a satirical campaign suggesting that the bird is a symbol of neo-Nazism.

After the onslaught of fame--which included some hate messages and threats--Weiler is avoiding the media and has upped her computer security. But she did tell a reporter at The Guardian that the inspiration for Trash Dove came while she was traveling. Pigeons are "like beautiful doves, except they eat trash," she Said.

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Title Annotation:heat index
Author:Board, Riley
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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