A mural that depicts Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin locked in a passionate kiss is making rounds on social media and has become fodder for late night comedy. However, the Putin-Trump wall painting unveils underlying connotations that could potentially foreshadow the state of affairs in foreign relations between two nuclear-armed powers.
Donald Trump knows a thing or two about "walls," but the a painted image of him kissing Russian President Vladimir Putin is not likely what he had in mind. The Week, which describes the mural as "hilariously disturbing," appears on a wall of Keulė Rūkė, a restaurant located in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The eatery has attracted droves of fans after the image went viral. Given the recent conflict between Russia and the ex-Soviet bloc nation's European partners, it's surprising the tiny country would host such an image.
'They both have an ego that is too big': The Putin-Trump kiss being shared around the world https://t.co/i4HoLk3Qlw pic.twitter.com/QIbR8vXYyb"We always believed that the small libertarian bbq joint situated on the NATO border with Russia will go viral one day."
— National Post (@nationalpost) May 14, 2016
Dominykas Čečkauskas, co-owner of the eatery, spoke to BuzzFeed about the impetus behind the artwork. Ironically, Čečkauskas is a Trump fan and didn't expect the work to reach viral status on an international level.
"The idea was to show two conservative leaders with huge egos finding comfort in each other. The point of the artwork is to show the creators' libertarian ironic attitude towards what's happening in the world right now."
The Lithuanian town is known for its tolerance and lack of censorship. Although several other graffiti projects have gone viral, the co-owners behind the kissing picture of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin took many by surprise. The inspiration behind the project is interesting, to say the least.
Graffiti mural of Donald Trump sharing gay kiss with Vladimir Putin goes viral: DONALD Trump appeared to have... https://t.co/yYL77ZvyleEarly on during his campaign for president, Trump shook up the political tarmac by showering Putin with niceties after the former KGB spy expressed praised for the "manly" businessman-turned-presidential-candidate during an annual meeting with the press.
— BWFC CHATTER (@ScottMacay) May 15, 2016
"He is a brilliant and talented person, without a doubt, but it is not our right to identify his virtues. It's the prerogative of U.S. voters."
When Trump learned about Putin's remarks back in December, he responded in kind. In what some pundits took as a political slight against the Obama Administration, Trump expressed his optimism about thawing the frozen relations between the two countries -- once he's in office.
"It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond. I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect."Perhaps, the two gentlemen have valid points about their vision of diplomacy. Arguably, they both have quite a bit in common. Trump and Putin are alpha-males in their own right. They both oversee operations on a macro level. They both are at odds with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on foreign affairs, especially over Syria. The kissing comrades are known for their bluster and straight-talking machismo images. That makes them bosom buddies.
The artists behind Trump and Putin's painting were partly inspired by the 1979 Socialist Fraternal Kiss photograph between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev and the resulting mural a year later painted on the Berlin Wall. The image, known simply as "The Kiss" is an emblematic ritual or greeting that takes place between leaders of Communist states.
Compare: The Socialist Fraternal Kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, 1979https://t.co/X8XHINceOn pic.twitter.com/EmrBhfBD1QLike the current image circulating on social media today, the graffiti painting from years ago was the subject of mockery. The only thing remains now is whether or not Trump and his new BFF will actually lock lips, should he win the White House in November.
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) May 13, 2016
[Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images]