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Rakewell

The Museum of London wants to watch over Trump Baby

7 June 2019

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

Much commotion in London this week, as Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK inspired thousands to take to the streets in protest. As in 2018, the visual centrepiece of the demonstrations, hovering above parliament square, was the ‘Trump Baby’ blimp – the 20ft-tall inflatable likeness of a diaper-clad Donald wielding a smartphone. Writing in the Guardian, Jonathan Jones compared its satirical oomph unfavourably to the cartoons of James Gillray. But at least one onlooker was piqued: an outraged Trump supporter, who attacked the blimp with a pair of scissors.

Happily, Trump Baby does have its fans. The Museum of London, for one, has expressed an interest in acquiring the blimp for its collection, along with an inflatable likeness of the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, depicted in a yellow bikini.

‘Both of these balloons are shining examples of political satire,’ director Sharon Ament told Newsweek. ‘And of course, satire is always about the big issues of the day […] We have thousands of objects from all sorts of protests that have happened in London and this one is very interesting for us at this moment in time.’

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