Author Archives: ethan

Gonzalo Perez’s Trump drawings

Gonzalo Perez, a California mixed-media artist, has adapted Phillip Kremer’s photographs to paper. Perez works ingraphite, ink and video. This piece, in ink, is as compelling as the photo original.

Don Trumpozo #Drawing based off @phillip.kremer beautifully grotesque portrait of Donnie. #Ink | #Markers | #Ballpoint

A photo posted by Gonzalo Perez (@9onzaloperez) on

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Nadav Kander’s portrait of Trump

The Time magazine cover has been widely interpreted as portraying Trump as a devil because of the placement of the “M” above his head. Yet this isn’t the first time a Time Person of the Year image could be construed this way. More interesting are the many other subversive elements in the work by the London-based photographer Nadav Kander. Journalist and critic Jake Romm identifies other features as subversive, including the chair, the pose, and the color.

#critiques There has been quite a bit of writing reviewing and critiquing my portrait of Donald Trump seen on the cover of Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year issue. “Perfect” I say because any writing that demonstrates enquiry sheds light onto the many layers a good piece of work should have. It at once promotes others to think more about what they see around them (hard with the amount of popular imagery coming at us from every direction) and it shows the possibility that we can deepen into work we look at and let our own personal story give up its secrets and feel emotion triggered by what it sees (if of course this interests you). Some excellent writing can beautifully suggest and unlock a thought trail you’d never imagined before. The more of this the better, because your interest and knowledge becomes more acute. So bring it on! What I miss from a lot of this writing is a simple “in my view” put at the beginning or the end of a sentence occasionally. I mind this because it’s you and only you that hold the narrative to the picture and therefore another’s truth may not be yours. There is no dictionary that defines the meaning of a photograph, just a viewers view. I try with all my image making to leave the ‘door open’ so a viewer can come in and feel around for themselves. A glance back by a sitter might mean one thing to one person and something so different to another, just because, as said above, our life stories are so different from one to another. I looked to make a portrait that respects this crossroad in history with no political view of my own. Thank you for so much positive feedback. #trump #timemagazine #portrait @time

A photo posted by Nadav Kander Studio (@nadavkander) on

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Aria Watson, “#SignedByTrump”

Aria Watson, a young Oregon-based artist, has produced a stunning series of photographs that underscores the barbarity of Trump’s statements about women. In each picture, a model has different words from one of Trump’s misogynistic quotes written across her body. The work reminds us that there are real people effected by language which to him is no more than locker room conversation. Her art is more noteworthy when you hear Aria explain that she wasn’t even old enough to vote against Trump.

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Artists give Ivanka the hand

👏🏻 👏🏻👏🏻 @loicgouzer @brettgorvy 📷 @joshuakushner

A photo posted by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

While it doesn’t mean new protest art, a movement by contemporary artists and their friends to send message Ivanka is a promising. Calling themselves the Halt Action Group, they have sought to use Ivanka interest in their work as a way to change her father’s policies.

Ivanka is an avid collector of contemporary art. From a photoshoot in Elle Decor, Ivanka has photographs by Mariah Robertson, prints by John Baldesaari, and a drawing by the late Jan Voors. According to Bloomberg , she also has art by Christopher Wool, Alex IsraelNate Lowman, Dan Colen, and  Will Boone.

The efforts targeting Ivanka have been lead  by curator Alison Gingeras, artist Jonathan Horowitz, and dealer Bill Powers, who has previously sold work to Trump. Some in the group have said they do not want to be associated with Trump and object to Ivanka having their work on her walls. Others who have voiced concerns, ranging from the Muslim registry to Trump’s treatment of women, using the “dear_ivanka” tag on posters.

Hopefully this initiative will only expand and gain more attention. If all of the artists Ivanka collects and their galleries joined the protest, it would be tough for Ivanka to enter a gallery without hearing objections about her father.
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Jon Bass, “President Drumpf”

North Carolina artist and illustrator Jon Bass has produced a stunning work that is a vivid depiction of the raw and savage impulses at work below the well coiffed exterior. The distorted facial expressions are something that Francis Bacon might have painted, though the Jewish star is inexplicable.


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Stephanie Sarley, “Peace at Last”

Stephanie Sarley, a young artist whose works include a wide range of materials including food, has created an anti-Trump portrait that is a 2016 take on an iconic anti-feminist and anti-suffrage poster. The piece replaces the woman who is bound and gagged in the 1920s version with Trump, while carefully retaining the same coloring, styling, and title as the original.

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Why isn’t there more protest art?

The Huffington Post asks 21 artists for their thoughts about what Trump’s election means for the future of art and what role it should play over the next four years. Remarks by Zoe Buckman do a great job of explaining why more art isn’t created in response to Trump – the most significant American political event since 9/11.

As artists we need to stop making work only for gallery or museum walls, or the coffee tables of collectors. Rather, in tandem with these shows and pieces, we also need to make work for the people. For free. On billboards, train stations, public parks, etc. In order for that to happen, public art organizations need to be braver and stop highlighting work that is safe and decorative. The boards that control them need to give more power to the curators, and American cities need to lift much of the red tape that hinders and prevents artists from making challenging public art.

All these stakeholders – artists, collectors, gallerists, curators – should be looking at ways to create more Trump protest art, even if it means changing the way they usually do business.

Zoe Buckman, “Champ” (2016)

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Vicki Da Silva, “Loser”

Light artist Vicki Da Silva has created a work that labels Trump with one of his favored epithets. Using a extended exposure camera and a single shot, Da Silva writes “Loser” in front of the Trump buildings on Riverside Boulevard (which are trying to have the Trump name removed). The technique is something that was explored by Picasso, though he never used it to make a political statement, unfortunately.

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Alison Jackson’s photographs

British photographer Alison Jackson has staged a series of photos imagining what a Trump presidency will be like. While creative and technically sound, in an era of fake news, these scenes seem so realistic that they risk contributing to misinformation. Though these were not intended as protest, do they serve to validate beliefs about Trump’s behavior? The photos do fit with the rest of Jackson’s work and could be be effective in promoting her book about the “cult of the celebrity”, which was released in November.

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Barbara Kruger, “LOSER”

Collagist, graphic designer, and blue chip artist Barbara Kruger has designed a cover for New York Magazine. It features her trademark sans serif font overlayed on a close picture of Trump’s tensed face. Kruger started her career as a magazine designer and its good to see her return to her roots for the purpose of Trump protest art.

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