Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18 – two days before the Inauguration –The World of Wonder Storefront Gallery is hosting Surviving Trump: The Art of Resistance featuring protest art by established at emerging artists (like myself). I saw artist David McGlyn‘s witty and timely Piss Trump (below) on Facebook and invited him to get his entry in just last week. You know the recent Russian pee-party that associates Trump with going #1, but you may not know McGylnn’s art reference inspiration.
In 1987, artist Andres Serrano‘s Piss Christ was exhibited at the Stux Gallery in NYC. (At the time that I was doing the graphics and catalogue design for the gallery, btw) The piece caused a scandal when it was exhibited in 1989, including Senators Al D’Amato and Jesse Helms, outraged that Serrano received $15,000 for the work, and $5,000 in 1986 from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts. Serrano received death threats and hate mail, and he lost grants due to the controversy. Others alleged that the government funding of Piss Christ violated the separation of church and state. There’s more but you can Google it.
Over the weekend I interviewed McGlynn about his Piss Trump and the inspiration.
So, we don’t know each other but I saw your Piss Trump on Facebook and reached out… so glad you jumped on it and made it into the show. Are you a full-time artist?
I am a full time photographer/artist. Like many, I make money doing photography to support a nasty art habit.
So, you were inspired by recent events, I guess and put that together with Serrano’s Piss Christ. Are you a big fan?
Of Trump or Serrano?!? They are both sources of inspiration! Piss Christ continues to be an important work. On one hand it helped create the anti-art funding climate of the burgeoning religious/republican right, and on the other hand it fostered a kind of DIY independence for artists, as well as continuing the debate about free speech…
As for Trump, sure it’s horrible that he will be president, but it is nothing short of amazing, and very entertaining. The Trump treasures are many and continuing to flow out of this unpresidented presidency.
How does this piss, uh PIECE, relate to your other work. Is your other work activist or political in nature?
Well, the work that is my main focus, what I THINK I’m known best for is relatively straight, subtley political. And so Piss Trump is a kind-of a one-off, alas, I feel like I do a decent amount of stuff like this, but maybe I foolishly relegate it to ‘low art’ status!
I don’t get to control what people like, and in spite of wanting people to get serious about my serious art, my more entertaining side tends toward crowd pleasers. Let the people decide!
As an artist myself, I hear that…
For the show I made an 8 x 10, signed as an artist’s proof. I’m looking at creating a larger, higher resolution version which I’d likely do in a small edition of 10 or so. I purchased a usage right to the Trump photo to be on the safe side (for all I know the original photographer is a Trump supporter!) and I imagine Andres Serrano would be… touched? Honored?
Funny, I show with a gallery in New Orleans, Boyd Satellite, and they have shown Andres’ work. Blake Boyd, the owner, also an artist, is an old friend of Andres. I’m pretty sure he’d love it.
The silver lining to cataclysmic events such as Trump getting elected is the groundswell of creative response art that comes out of it. It is it’s own category I guess. I can rant and rave all I want on Facebook, but that just blends into the background. Having an opportunity to create a simple piece of art that neatly encapsulates a set of complex ideas, well that’s why we have art and artists. I’m happy to do my part!
If you are in the L.A. area, please stop by and give Piss Trump some love/hate! RSVP to [email protected]