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The Trump Effect on Art

United States President Donald Trump has had significant impacts on the world since his inauguration, from denying climate change to scolding anyone that opposes him on social media. The out-of-the-norm president has led to a world of change; some good and some bad.

But we’re starting to see a major shift, as we often see in art, when political concerns fuel a country.

The Trump Effect on art is still taking shape, and a lot of it starts with protest art.

Protest Art is Acting as a “Voice” for Many Artists

Protest art is used by activists and by social movements to help inform or persuade people. And another spectrum of art, music, is also driving the protest art scene with musicians voicing their disdain for the president in their songs.

Kendrick Lamar’s Damn took a shot at the president.

Art as Witness,” an exhibit at the School of Visual Arts brought together many of the graphical arts that have been created in the last two years, and they often include forceful images that cover some of the top topics of the Trump Administration, like:
  • Climate change
  • Immigration
  • Gun control
  • Sexual assault
Collages, videos, sculptures, posters and animations are just a few of the pieces that were on display.

One year after his inauguration, artists came out in droves to protest the president with a variety of art works, including:
    • America by Touba Alipour, which features a map of the United States that says “Closed for Renovation” and has exit signs on all of the four borders.


  • The Ashes by Desdemona Dallas, which features a “Make America Great Again” cap among rubble on the ground.


  • America by Danielle Siegelbaum, which shows a woman of color, tears streaming down her face with the American flag in the background.


Artists Gathering Together in Protest

Artists have started to join together in protest against the President, and this has been occurring for months. The “Dear Ivanka” protest occurred in New York City, featuring over 200 people. The demonstration included artists, writers, art workers and curators, who gathered in front of Ivanka Trump’s SoHo apartment.

Artists gathered to express their concern over the President’s actions and plead to Ivanka to help restore humanity.

Drawings in the Time of Fear and Lies is another series that is taking place, featuring an array of artists and expresses the concerns of artists all over the world.

What we’re seeing is a wave of artists across the world, especially female artists, gathering in protest against the economic uncertainties that we’re facing in the United States.

But these protests are for other reasons, too.

Trump has been known to purchase expensive art pieces, and he is also known for not taking proper care of many of these pieces. A major concern among the art community was sparked when the administration was over three months late when announcing an artist for the Venice Biennale.

Typically, the United States is among the first countries to submit their artist for the event.

The Venice Biennale is considered the “Olympics of the Art World,” and a late entry for the country’s representative in the art community showed, if nothing else, a lack of consideration for the art world.

Trump Painting Shows Some Confidence

One artist, Andy Thomas, was happy when his phone rang and his wife picked up, only to find out that the person on the other end of the line was the President. Thomas painted Trump among several Republicans and Abraham Lincoln, drinking a Coke and smiling.

The painting now adorns the walls of the White House, and it shows that Trump does appreciate portraits of himself.

We’re also seeing a lot of Trump-inspired art for sale, and the art is allowing many artists to make a living. 

Artists are starting to experience a reignition in protest art and political-based art. We're seeing artists question the status quo, and we’re also seeing a lot of love for ethnic artists and artists of color that may have otherwise had their voices silenced.
The art world is banding together so that no one feels isolated. Artists are finding a voice through their art work, and a lot of these artists are able to help others express what they’re feeling by just looking at their art.
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