Not Normal Art in the Age of Trump

Not Normal Art in the Age of Trump by Karen Gutfreund

 Nothing is normal anymore in the age of Trump.

For 4 years, artists around the United States have been raging against Donald Trump and the destruction he has created.

I am proud to be one of them.

I am also honored  to be included in the hot-off-the-press book “Not Normal- Art in the Age of Trump.” This timely book is a densely rich visual protest featuring 147 artists with over 350 works astutely amassed by curator Karen Gutfreund. The abundance of artwork is accompanied by equally gripping essays.

collage of appropriated images Sally Edelstein

Promising to make America great again, Trump promised the past as future. His supporters voted for a huckster. They got conned. America got screwed. Sally Edelstein “A Sucker is Born Every Minute” (2016) collage of appropriated images 24″x 24″

The reality of Donald Trump’s presidency struck many Americans as the worst political nightmare that could ever have happened.  A common grifter in a place of power has been a lethal combination. He mangles the truth with the ease of a snake oil salesman and the black empty heart of a psychopath. Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, demagoguery were all part and parcel of the Trump package. This nightmare has brought a new era in America.

One that is not normal.

art painting

Nancy Natow Cassidy “Trump Flag” Acrylic on canvas 48″x 30″

 

Kate Kretz “Hate Hat” (2019) Deconstructed MAGA Hats, cotton, thread 28″x 9″x12″ edition of 3

art anti trump

Eric Corriel with #tinytrump The figures are cardboard cutouts that the artist sells and encourages people to stick them up all over the place and then to document it on social media.

His rise to power has awakened and emboldened bigotry, both condoning and encouraging hate while normalizing deception and misinformation. With a wink and a nod, our racist in chief has encouraged the darkest elements of our society.

Not My President

 

Valerie Patterson "Not My President" 2016 Acrylic 24" x 30"

Valerie Patterson “Not My President” 2016 Acrylic 24″ x 30″

It has also empowered artists to rise up respond and resist the normalization of racism, sexism, and hate. Their strong reactions shout from these colorful pages.  Confronting and challenge the autocratic Trump presidency, this unprecedented upswelling of artist-activists from disparate backgrounds and diverse mediums are supporting one another in their disapproval of this new “not normal” world.

Much of the artwork is done “in real-time” reacting and responding to the onslaught of the daily absurdity of the Trump administration.

art bricks

Johnathan Talbot “Border Wall Bricks” (Detail) 2020 Ceramic Bricks 3.5″ x 8″ x 5″

In the Trump world of disinformation, he skillfully sows mistrust in the media not only delegitimizing journalists but facts themselves. He reveals, again and again, his knowledge deficit about our democratic system with his nonsensical utterings.

His constant rambling and gibberish have been unsettling. Witnessing his unhinged outbursts, poor reasoning peppered with paranoia is unnerving. Facts no longer matter in an alternative reality where conspiracy theories run rampant.

 

Trump Art

Mark Bryan “Too Much Trump” (2017) Oil on canvas 24″ x 30″

It is time to name Trump’s dangerous rhetoric for what it is. It is not only racist but fascist with all the dangers that ideology implies.

That is not normal.

art anti Trump

India Tresselt “Our Daily Bread” (2017) This is Not Normal. Embroidery and applique in felt 5″ x 7″ “I made this to reflect a Presidency that is, at best full of hot air and lacking any nutritional value.”

 

art anti Trump

Gary Aggaard “Half-Cocked and Loaded ( 2020) oil on canvas 20″x10”

 

political art

Salma Arastu “You Loot We Shoot ( 2020) acrylic and charcoal on unstretched canvas 40″ x 58”

Donald Trump’s politics of hate are now metastasizing into violence.

Trump is a clear and present danger to the USA.

 

art anti trump

Nancy Ohanian “Deep State” digital

Putin has done what the Soviets long dreamed of accomplishing. Once the stuff of cold war paranoid spy novels the Russians have infiltrated our democracy and put a puppet in the White House, the candidate handpicked by comrade Putin. Trump’s interests and the Kremlins are in lockstep.

Beth Fox Heisinger “Trump Devouring America” (2016) digital print on canvas)

 

art anti Trump

Brandi Mercolla “A Taste of His Own Medicine” colored pencils and ink 11″x 14″

 

The health of our nation is close to being on life support after nearly 4 years of him as president. His handling of the coronavirus is a disaster as lethal as the virus himself.

 

Jenny E Balisle " Does Your God Approve " (2019) plastic and aluminum 2.5 x 6.5" x 6.5"

Jenny E Balisle ” Does Your God Approve ” (2019) plastic and aluminum 2.5 x 6.5″ x 6.5″

art Anti Trump

Holly Ballard Martz  “Trophy for Tyranny ( tarnished reputation)” 2019 N.Y. Times, brass stencils, brass aluminum rivets 10″ x 21″ x 5″

 

art snti Trump

Ward Schumacker “Responsibility” ( Detail) Acrylic on paper 37″x 25″

It is in these nightmare times that we must all engage, think, and fight.

And vote like your life depended on it. Because it does..

 

Karen M. Gutfreund Curator and author of "Not Normal Art in the Age of Trump"

Karen M. Gutfreund Curator and author of “Not Normal Art in the Age of Trump”

There has been an unprecedented upswelling of artist-activists from disparate backgrounds,  supporting one another in their disapproval of this new not normal world, to confront and challenge the autocratic Trump presidency.

Their outrage is evidenced in full technicolor and is now available as a collection thanks to Karen Gutfreund. An important and necessary curator for our times she has long focused on feminism and social justice-themed art. Now she takes aim at Trump with a sharpened and wisened arrow. She is the curator we need now!

art anti trump

Michele Pred- “Nasty Woman” From the Pro-choice/Nasty Woman the Power of the Purse series. (2017 Vintage purse with electroluminescent wire

 

That Trump could utter his infamously vulgar remark dripping with male entitlement about grabbing a woman’s pussy and still be elected president is part of what fueled the rage that fired the Women’s March. (L) Nina Kua Anti Trump March My Pussy Jan 21, 2017) R) The author and Karen Gutfreund in Washington DC at the Women’s March 2016 and Trump Inaugural Party.

An amazing amalgam of talents, heart, and a deep committed sense of social justice, Karen is also my dear friend and collaborator. She is also my partner in crime. Along with countless exhibits shared, marches marched, she was my accomplice during the 2017 March on Washington, when 2 pussy hat-wearing feminists went undercover and crashed a Trump inaugural celebration party.

art anti Trump

Karen M Gutfreund “Alternative Facts (2018) Mixed Media on canvas, book pages, acrylic, vellum, vinyl, and epoxy resin. 24″ x18”

As an independent curator, Karen has a long history of promoting the work of activists and feminist artists with over 35 touring exhibitions to date.

Karen is also a partner in Gutfreund Cornett Art, a curatorial partnership that specializes in creating exhibitions in venues around the US on themes of “art as activism” to stimulate dialogue raise consciousness, and encourage social change. An artist in her own right, she actively promotes the work of other artists with national touring exhibitions.

“Not Normal Art in the Age of Trump”  grew out of an earlier edition published last fall featuring 38 artists with 55 works but grew to accommodate the growing voices of discontent. One that grows daily.

art flag

Sara Peak Convery “Divided States of America” ( 2019) Printed US Flags, thread 34″ x 53″

 

Eric Almanza “The Hate We All Live With” ( 2018) Oil on Canvas 36″x 48″

The artist’s outrage is evidence in full technicolor on subjects ranging from racism, misogyny, xenophobia, immigration,  promotion of hatred and violence, the COVID pandemic, mistrust of science and facts, and his unrelenting lying and narcism that puts our country at risk.

 

art anti Trump

Erin Wallen “Our Daily Assault” (2018) Acrylic, wax pastel, inl gouache on paper 21.5″ x 27″

art anti Trump

RP aka Sam Adams “Trump’s Last Supper” hand embellished digital painting

 

political art trump

Patricia Isaza “Swamp King Pricktator” ( detail) Mixed media 68″ x 48″

 

 

Zelley “The Bible is His Weapon” ( 2020) Digital

 

art anti trump

Victoria Sybrandi “D is for Donald” ( 2017) Updated with surgical mask 2020 Mixed media on linen 23.6″ x 15.75″

Donald Trump doesn’t need to wear a mask. His hateful self is unmasked every day.

 

This powerful visual protest to Donald Trump with dissension and outrage is available on Amazon with proceeds from the sale going to the Soze Foundation Artists + Activists Fund.

 

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

5 comments

  1. Congratulations! Can’t wait to see this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! The book is terrific!

    Like

  3. Jeff Tamarkin

    Wow, this art is chilling to the core. It truly reflects the total change we’ve undergone in just a few years. Let’s hope that the Trump era in art will be confined to 2016-2020.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Masks. Saves. Lives. Period. | Envisioning The American Dream

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