In the months leading up to the U.S election, artists made their anti-Trump sentiments known through their art, but since then, many artists have felt the consequences.
Ilma Gore has literally been punched in the face by a Trump supporter because of her portrait of Trump entitled “Make America Great Again.” The portrait, a nude, shows Trump posing on one knee, exposing his…presidential package. Gore has received rape and death threats and has been harassed over the phone by people claiming to be a part of Donald Trump’s legal team, threatening to sue him for everything he has. Galleries in the United States refused to show the work. Maddox Gallery in London finally allowed the artwork to be seen.
Shia LaBeouf’s livestream art project “He Will Not Divide Us” at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York had a short lifespan after it caused violence and the gathering of white supremacists ready to defend Trump. It, like Gore’s work has since been moved overseas and then taken down again. Though not uncommon to the limelight and memes, LaBeouf has been a target for trolls on the internet since the event.
Ginger, a Las-Vegas artist was approached by an anarchist art collection, Indecline to create “The Emporer Has No Balls,” five statues of Donald Trump, again naked, again a particularly unflattering likeness of the now president. The statues were placed in five different cities. New York’s Union Square Park statue was quickly taken down by city workers last year. This was not their first anti-Trump artwork, having previously painted a mural on a wall near Tijuana with the words “¡Rape Trump!” after Trump called people from Mexico “rapists.”
Street artist, Pegasus, has been threatened by dozens of people that he will be kidnapped, stabbed or shot since painting Trump on a pub wall in England. In the artwork, Trump is portrayed as Hitler, speaking at a podium in front of a swastika with the words “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The artist has said he “will never give in to fear mongering, nor will [he] ever be censored.”
The above artists believed in their first amendment rights enough to continue to create art despite their artworks being destroyed, ridiculed, called in the middle of the night, threated with rape, torture and death. I wonder if the people who did those things to these artists realize that these are rights that no person should take away, not even the president.
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