I’ve sort of resigned myself to the sad fact Donald Trump, the politician, is not going to go away. He’s like athlete’s foot. You keep putting the cream on, the itching dies down, you think, “Okay, that’s taken care of,” and then you wake up clawing a hole in your foot because the itch is worse than ever. That’s the best way I can think of to describe Trump’s political ascendancy. He is like a fungus that is somehow mad at us. And popular.
My own existential terror that we’re trapped in one of Stephen King’s stories this election cycle aside, I will admit that there really is something compelling about Trump. Love him (I don’t) or hate him (well), I can’t deny he inspires people. Mostly hold-my-beer-and-watch-this people, but people all the same.
So today I thought we’d take a look at some of the art people are currently hawking online featuring Trump. What glories has he helped breech birth into the world?
10. The Statue of Trump by Monika Ostrowidzki
This mixed-media piece combines Michelangelo's classic David with the smugging face of Trump, demurely censored by and emerging from angry, abstract splatters of red and black paint. It's kind of like looking at the way Trump views himself. Ostrowidzki claims the canvas is perfect for frightening both terrorists and neighbors alike from your home, and as someone who has not one but two friends who own paintings by John Wayne Gacy, I know I'd rather visit them than someone who unironically hung this on his wall. Make your own dick joke regarding the size of David's hands in comparison to Trump's head. The Houston Press has only budgeted me four dick jokes for the rest of the year and I'm not wasting one this early in an election cycle. (Ed. note: I'm counting that one. Author's note: DAMNIT!)
9. Donald Trump Political Weathervane by David Smith
Right here in Houston, well, Sugar Land, we have one of the most amazing copper artists I have ever seen, and his work includes weathervanes. Seriously, if you need a badass dragon to tell you the way the wind is blowing — and to be honest, I don't want to know you if you don't — then Smith is your guy. He also makes a nice selection of politically themed vanes, including the amazing Trump one you see here. Note that while he may always tell you the direction of the wind, he always follows the dollar sign below the arrow. If the $6,900 price tag is out of your range, the artist also sells a Ted Cruz one for cheaper, which for some reason is hilarious.
8. Donald Trump by Sam Debey
Coffee art, not to be confused with latte art, is art created within the medium of stained coffee. It sounds like a rather insane way to create a work, but there's no arguing against Debey's obvious quality. There's something wonderfully sinister about the piece, how Trump's head is a bloated cartoon that devolves into a spectral trail of strings. It's like he is being summoned from a bad dream, with his tie forming an eerie white beam of light that broadens out into the rest of the blank canvas. The stains are permanent, by the way, and will not spoil, if that was what was keeping your wallet in your pants.
7. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire by Socialis Cogitatio
This is a nicho, which is a Mexican style of diorama (sorry if I'm whitesplaining to our Hispanic readers, but I assume some Trump supporter is gonna tell me I misspelled "nacho" or something). Here we see Trump emerging either from a fiery pit or with his lower extremities engulfed in flames. Considering the title, it's probably the latter, but that doesn't necessarily mean the former is exactly wrong. Many of Trump's followers insist the tycoon "tells it like it is." However, a look at Trump's Politifact rating shows he mostly tells it like it isn't. He hits the truth about 8 percent of the time, and lies or is wrong a whopping 78 percent of the time (20 percent of those are ranked Pants on Fire, the site's special designation for especially ridiculous bullshit). It's a steal at $10 for a memorable mantelpiece decoration.
6. Gears Of War 3 Hillary Anya Stroud Clinton VS Hairy Deep Sea Lambert Leviathan Donald Trump Utilizing Chainsaw Lancer by Dan Lacey
It's one thing to say that Hillary Clinton may be the only person capable of stopping the political train wreck that is the ascendancy of Donald Trump, but if you really want to make your point, you'd better paint the former Secretary of State as a Gears of War character waging all-out war against a Trump monster. Also, is it just me or does Lacey seem to draw inspiration from Houston fringe artist Phillip Kremer's disturbing distortions of Trump's face? Instagram shut down Kremer's account without explanation, and Kremer's brother Paul believes it was over the Trump works. Can't imagine Trump will enjoy being chainsawed in the eye any better, so sorry in advance if I get Lacey kicked off Etsy.
5. Commander in Chief by LesLea
This acrylic piece disturbs me more than any other on this list. For one, it's the only sincerely celebratory piece of Trump art I can find. In the description on Etsy, Lea says she's "excited about the election and the tables turning for our country and the suffering world around us," and it's turbo unnerving that someone can look at Trump and feel that series of emotions. Not the least because Lea is a really, really amazing artist to judge by her page, and one with a heart on top of that. Her subjects include Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln lovingly rendered, as well as Biblical scenes and tender works showing romantic and parental love. Then you see this... a virtually shadeless, stark portrait in which the subject's eyes are nearly black pools and the country literally appears to be on fire behind him, and you have to live with the idea the creator of that image felt hope when finished.
4. The Donald Trump Muffin by Barbara Spiegel
It's...a plush muffin with Donald Trump's face. I'm really sort of at a loss on how to describe this one, folks, so I'm just going to let the creator do it for me while I go have a little lie-down.
Whether you are one of Donald Trump’s devoted fans, enemies, or just plain indifferent, this is the perfect gift item for anyone on your list who has a sense of humor or political incorrectness! These muffins are very high quality, completely hand crafted and sewn. These muffins will last for the entire 8 years of his presidency and well into the next millennium!
As they are hand crafted, there is an individuality that you will see from these American made items. You get the magnificent hair style, an exquisite power tie, lovable lips, and penetrating eyes!
At only $17.95 each (including postage!) this is an incredible and unique item that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. You can hang it on the wall of your cubicle, put it on your Christmas Tree before next January’s inauguration, or any other place your heart desires. Supply is limited and will sell fast.
3. Donald Trump Ghoul by Rob Israel
Hey, another Texas boy! Here's a piece by Rob Israel of Highland Village showing Trump revealing his true form. Personally, I assumed that Trump was actually three racist ducks in a mansuit, but I do love Israel's subtle nods to They Live in his rendition. The best bits are how his sleeves disappear into the black of his suit jacket, making his elegant, hideous hands appear to float menacingly in the air of their own volition. I also enjoy how Trump's famous hair seems to be sending tendrils down into his veins, as if it were connected to his circulatory system. I'd be very surprised if I didn't see this image on bumper stickers this year.
2. Trumptopus by Jonathan Crow
Jonathan Crow likes to paint famous political figures with octopuses on their heads. Everyone's got to have a passion, you know, and Crow's clearly a deft hand with watercolors. However, Trump is a deviation in Crow's work because he isn't wearing an octopus. Rather, he's become one, and now tentacles reach out through his mouth to try to snare the hearts of the American voting public. Fun facts about octopuses: They are the smartest invertebrates on the planet, and the only thing that is probably keeping them from ruling as the dominant species on Earth is the fact they live only about three years. Am I saying that a particularly genius octopus squeezed into Trump's brain and is somehow manipulating him from the inside to conquer the world? No, but I'm not NOT saying it either.
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All right, here we go...
1. Make America Great Again by Illma Gore
This is a beautiful thing. No, really, Illma Gore made a truly beautiful thing when she painted Donald Trump nude with a micropenis. In an interview with Vocativ, she talks about how power and masculinity should not be rooted in the size of someone's genitals, and this was before a Republican debate actually turned into a literal dick-measuring contest. What we can see in Gore's work is a man in the last years of his life projecting confidence and power despite sagging flesh and a small dick, and if more men could not hang all their self-image on what's in their pants, it would be a better world with fewer things on fire.