For future collectors of 2016 presidential election memorabilia, one could hardly imagine a piece more singular than Donald Trump’s nude painting.
— Maddox Gallery (@MaddoxGallery) April 14, 2016
If threats of a lawsuit prove true, the painting of Donald could become even more historic. Artist Illma Gore has been receiving anonymous promises that if Trump’s nude sells, she’ll land herself in court. That’s after offers of nearly $150,000, reported The Guardian.
In the work, Donald stands stark naked, his foot proudly propped up, and his legs open to reveal the “huge” penis that inadvertently became a GOP debate talking point. At 11″ X 14″, Trump’s pastel-penciled likeness is a tiny representation of himself — in more ways than one.
Artist Illma Gore writes on her website that the nude Donald painting is meant to be a greater meditation on genitals, a theme that runs through the gender-fluid artist’s work.
“‘Make America Great Again’ was created to evoke a reaction from its audience, good or bad, about the significance we place on our physical selves. One should not feel emasculated by their penis size or vagina, as it does not define who you are. Your genitals do not define your gender, your power, or your status.”
Despite that symbolism, Gore still confirms that the painting is also an anti-Trump political statement.
“Simply put, you can be a massive prick, despite what is in your pants.”
Gore is currently showing the work in a London gallery after fleeing the United States. There, she was confronted with death threats after her naked Donald painting went viral on social media. Two months later, her original post has been shared more than 250,000 times. She was later temporarily banned from Facebook.
I’m banned from @Facebook again for 7 days after just getting it back pic.twitter.com/0VdTLkhTtX
— Illma Gore (@illmagore) March 14, 2016
Even apart from Trump’s followers, Gore was not universally praised for her nude painting. Many accused her of “body shaming” Donald by picturing him with such a small penis. Some even said that it was reflective of Trump’s own technique of using a physical trait to denigrate someone.
“This is amazingly childish and incredibly sexist. You would be foaming at the mouth angry if someone were to draw a woman they disliked naked with a flat chest or gaping vagina… There is plenty about the man to ridicule without needing to degenerate to little penis jokes. Grow the hell up kid.”
“This piece represents a novice attempt at cashing in on the trendy Donald trump meme. While criticisms of Trump are warranted, this humiliating depiction fails to create any cogent political statement and instead serves only the cause of body shaming.”
“This is great! Maybe you could do one of Hillary with a massive ugly vagina next? Because mocking people based on their genitals is a wonderful thing to do.”
“People can wax poetic about ‘humanizing’, and being ‘an artistic takedown’ or whatever. I give you bonus points for being able to prepare a somewhat palatable word salad, but your motives are still transparent. This is nothing more than ‘We don’t like you, so you have a tiny d**k’.”
Gore seemed unaffected by these critiques. The artist held to her view that the painting would have the same meaning whether it were of Donald or Hillary Clinton, and rejected the criticism that it was sexist.
OFFENDED TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Maybe u wouldn’t feel so intimidated by penis size if masculinity wasn’t rooted in oppressing women & femininity.
— Illma Gore (@illmagore) February 10, 2016
At the very least, Illma Gore’s nude Donald Trump painting has succeeded in sparking a national conversation. In that way, it’s been a success — even she doesn’t end up selling the painting out of fear of a lawsuit.
[Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]