This politically-charged series examines some of the biggest criticisms about President Donald Trump. It continues my interest in using digital photomontage as an artistic technique to explore ideas related to individual and corporate identities. These created identities are often layered with ideological, psycho-emotional and political intent. My inspirations for this series in particular include Barbara Kruger, Andy Warhol, John Heartfield and Jonathan Swift.
Having grown up in a Republican-Democrat divided home with two Canadian transplant parents, I have always tried to keep my mind open to individual political candidates. Labels have not been as important as a candidate’s experience, policy, judgment, compassion, character, and more. Over the years, I have certainly not agreed with all the actions of our executive leaders, but I have tried to understand that our country is bigger than my point of view. People that I have loved have sometimes shared very divergent ideas and opinions from myself.
However, no president in my lifetime has unnerved and alienated me as much as Donald Trump. From his initial candidacy through his current administration, there have been so many behaviors and statements that I have simply found repugnant. Immoral. Yes, I’ll say it, evil. The living conditions and treatment of the approximate 2,000 children in our Border Patrol Custody detention centers (my “Hell’s Kitchen” piece) seem unthinkable in this century, but horrifyingly, they exist.
In “Trump” I tried to identify the most egregious themes and criticisms around this president, ones that many of us cannot ignore. It is my dark rumination on what I find to be the most destructive behaviors that we have witnessed since 2016. Technically, it is various digital manipulations of collaged images, with added text and extensive retouching and layering.
If you hold different views than myself, if there are parts of this presidency about which you feel happy and satisfied, then I hope these images will prompt you to ask how far a personality can swing into darkness before the light around him is extinguished.