This piece is not political. It is personal: it represents my own pain and unresolved issues. I believe every child is an artist until their parents reprogram them or kill their artistic expression.
I grew up in a strict religion which demanded perfection – Jehovah’s Witnesses. Self-expression was not permitted, my father hated my paintings, and I experienced a lot of beatings and physical abuse for things such as accidentally hitting a tennis ball into the neighbor’s backyard. Like most children, I believed my parents did not understand me and so I chose to block them out of my world and my personal thoughts and dreams.
And like every child, even those who say they hate their parents, I subconsciously longed for a real relationship with my father and for both of us to know each other. That never happened.
My dad and Donald Trump have a lot in common. My dad was strict, authoritarian, unforgiving, cold, domineering, highly masculine, forceful, reactive, aggressive, and would never admit when he was wrong. And just like Donald Trump, when my mother was pregnant with my first younger brother (11 years younger) dad was cheating on mom.
While people love and loath Donald Trump, there is one truth: I believe that we all subconsciously are drawn to people in power; we long for, envy and wish we had the power, resilience and warrior spirit that Trump exudes and demonstrates – regardless of political ideology.
However, whether by plan, habit or some other subconscious issue, Trump is a performance artist. Every day he engages in art ‘happenings’ – performing for the public and engaging and demanding a reaction from his audience or viewers. While art happenings originally involved painting, poetry, music, dance, and theatre, Donald Trump now uses the medium of Twitter to create performance and happenings – theatre via words –compelling people to respond uncontrollably whether that be with more words, protests or other physical actions.
Thus, when creating this piece, I immediately connected to Andy Warhol’s pop art interpretation and stylization of celebrities and other famous people who impacted the world. Warhol is the influence here – spontaneous, expressive, neon colors representing the flashy yet shallow way we see the world and celebrities, our obsession with fame and Hollywood, and the flashy and shallow way they are often represented or sold to the public.
My intention was to capture the flamboyant, vibrant, theatrical, expressive and exaggerated forms of Donald Trump, using his own words, expressions, emotions and symbols (his signature.)
Creating this piece was soothing but not truly healing; releasing it to the public was a final rebellion – the desire to freely express – yet still yearning for a relationship with a man who was cold, domineering and abusive – my dad.
After creating this piece, I was inspired to create a series of “Famous Tweets In History.”
“Trump: My Words Are Art”, 2019
“Clinton: I Never Lied”, 2020
“Marilyn: They Loved Somebody I Wasn’t”, 2020
“Einstein: Human Stupidity Is Infinite”, 2020
“Trump: Sorry Losers and Haters”, 2020