Sunday, January 24, 2021

Trump Art Souvenirs

I have no wish to become a political, much less just an anti-trump, blogger but I believe I have made it clear on how I feel about our previous President. To work within the scope of my Missives I have found a middle ground at least for this week in the “art” that makes fun of him. It probably galls him no-end and that brightens my day!

Artists have produced a great deal of protest art thanks to our last president The first time I became aware of this phenomenon was an article on an acquisition by the Museum of London of a giant “trump baby” balloon for its collection of Protest Art.  The unflattering caricature of him as a giant baby in a diaper waving a cell phone first flew over London in 2018 to mark the president’s first official visit.

Activist, artist and curator, Karen Gutfreund, illustrates the Anti-Trump Fine Art Movement in her nf released book, “Not Normal: Art in the Age of Trump”.  Here Is one of my favorite examples, a billboard by Karen Fiorito called “Trumpocalypse”, (2017) in Phoenix, Arizona, 10 x 42.6 feet.

New York artist, Andres Serrano, best known for his “Piss Christ” has gathered examples of trump memorabilia in a multi-media installation devoted to his subject called, “The Game: All things trump.”  Serrano spent two years and $200,000 of his own money putting the collection together.  He opened his   presentation in a defunct night club in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District with a thousand pieces related to his subject including a souvenir miniature cake from trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania!

The exhibition, which starts with trump as a businessman, is a portrait of consumerism and egoism wrapped up in a lot of cringe-worthy memorabilia. It demonstrates that trump's America has been a long time in the making.  Unfortunately, it is not a permanent museum, but it is commemorated in a book.

The pro-trump Insurrection at the Capitol has inspired the Smithsonian to collect flags, protest signs and other ephemera from the event.  This bumper sign is headed for the collection of the National Museum of American History.

Photo by Frank Blazich

The most devastating aspect of trump’s legacy is being documented by the state museums of New Mexico which are collecting photographs and written submissions regarding the Covid Pandemic.  There is a lot to collect for the last time I checked the U.S. ranks among the countries with the most Covid-related deaths per capita, and so many could have been avoided with responsible leadership.  The more that museums preserve of this period the better the reminder to future generations to watch out for a repeat of this kind of would-be tyrant.  

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