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Rakewell

The five key works of ‘Donaldism’ (so far)

16 September 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

As reported here previously, Donald Trump’s nomination as Republican candidate in this year’s US presidential elections has spawned a somewhat unlikely art movement, which Rakewell has defined as ‘Donaldism’. While some suspected the genre to be America’s answer to the ‘Neurotic Realism’, that ill-starred movement peddled by Charles Saatchi at the turn of the century, the phenomenon in fact appears to be going from strength to strength. The Rake rounds up its finest proponents to date:

1) The Emperor has no Balls, Indecline

When this decidedly unflattering effigy of the presidential hopeful was installed in New York’s Union Square back in August, it spawned outcry even from opponents of the Donald for its perceived ageism. City authorities removed it almost immediately, reasoning that ‘NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small’.

2) Painting of Naked Donald Trump, Ilma Gore

Even before Trump won the Republican nomination, artists were depicting him in imaginative poses. Ilma Gore’s erm, uncompromising portrait reportedly earned her death threats when it was unveiled on Facebook in February, but within weeks had found a safe haven in London’s Maddox Gallery.

3) Various projects, t.Rutt art collective

Not only have art collective t.Rutt constructed a section of Trump’s proposed ‘border wall’ on the US-Mexican frontier and, staying true to the former reality TV star’s intentions, billed the latter country’s president for the trouble, but they have also purchased a Trump campaign bus and turned it into a mobile studio. Indeed, history may record them as Donaldism’s most zealous adherents.

4) Trump’s Fags, Antony Micaleff

As with all great modern art movements, Donaldism’s reach has crossed the Atlantic. Invited to support the Peace One Day non-profit organisation, the British painter Antony Micaleff is auctioning a new work, consisting of Marlboro Red packs adorned with Trump’s visage above the warning that the Donald ‘seriously harms you and others around you’, or indeed ‘kills’. ‘Trump is the equivalent of Batman the Dark Knight who spends all his money and family wealth in fighting his cause, but instead of fighting for good of Gotham he fights for the throne of America,’ says Micallef. ‘People are so angry that they feel they have been giving nothing and are forgotten. They want a voice and no matter what Trump says, they will follow him as he is the vehicle for their hate and a perfect conduit to express it in.’

5) (Presumably) Untitled, Scott LoBaido

This ‘monumental’ sculpture of the letter T is one of the few examples of the style realised without satirical intent. Though Staten Island sculptor Lo Baido’s original was set alight in suspicious circumstances earlier this summer, he went ahead and rebuilt it an even bigger scale.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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