Unveiling “Why I Want To Fuck Donald Trump”
New presidential-themed group show opens in NYC
Images: Joshua Liner Gallery
At the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan, copies of a pamphlet bearing the seal of the Grand Old Party were distributed to delegates, as a hoax. Handed out by pranksters, the text, without a title, mimed the academic look of a psychology position paper. Instead, it held a fabricated series of bizarre “experiments” intended to gauge the subliminal psychosexual appeal of the party’s candidate, Ronald Reagan. Hilariously cringe-inducing to say the least, it sited car crash fetishism, poop, and how “slow-motion film of Reagan’s speeches produced a marked erotic effect in an audience of spastic children.”
The piece of short fiction was actually hatched from the mind of British writer and essayist, J.G. Ballard thirteen years prior to the B-list actor ever taking the Oval Office. Nonetheless, Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan was horrifyingly/remarkably prophetic of the birth of the “media politician” as seen with Reagan, and the over-sexualized cult of celebrity / reality-TV horror show in which we all find ourselves today.
Enter Alfred Steiner. The gallery artist has curated a new group show at Joshua Liner Gallery that thematically links Ballard’s 1967 essay with the rise (and please dear god, the fall) of Donald Trump, and comments on the off-the-charts sensationalism that currently defines politics. Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump includes artists whose work collectively critiques – through caricature, parody, and social and political pastiches – the fantasy-worship of our modern frankenstein: the celebrity-politician.
Literally illustrating Ballard’s speculation that “the probability of presidential figures being perceived primarily in genital terms,” Steiner has himself created grotesque watercolor “portraits” of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, borrowing images from hardcore porn of female and male genitalia. Brooklyn-based artist Lamar Peterson jumps in the fray by taking aim at ratings lust and the newscaster’s role in fanning the flames with his portrait of an anchorman with a disfigured mouth.
Brian Andrew Whiteley’s The Legacy Stone Project (The Donald Trump Tombstone) is part of the discourse. That’s the piece/happening that got tongues wagging – and NYPD’s counterterrorism unit investigating – after it clandestinely appeared on Easter Sunday morning in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow this year. Etched with the epitaph “Made America Hate Again”, Whiteley has said that the gravestone was meant to hit Trump on an existential level – not as a threat. Speaking to Gothamist in April, he said he “was trying to find a way where I could literally connect to Donald and say, ‘Wake up man. I was trying to get him to understand what he would be remembered for at this point.” Incorporating its own narrative, The Legacy Stone will appear in the exhibition with evidence tags from the earlier criminal investigation still attached.
Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump also included works from Ana Wolovick, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Schoultz, Damien Davis, David Levinthal, Eric Yahnker, Jonathan Yeo, Kris Kuksi, Michael Kagan, Patrick Meagher, Rebecca Goyette, Tom Sanford, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, Tim Davis, Todd Pavlisko, and William Powhida
And if this all seems too much, it’s rightfully so. All of this is too much. Go VOTE.
Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump opens Thursday, October 13th and runs concurrently with the Presidential election through November 12, 2016.