Sunday, October 17, 2021

Trump’s world revealed in Andres Serrano exhibit

New York, May 11 (EFE).- US President Donald Trump has been very effective in promoting himself and getting whatever he wants – that was the opinion of controversial photographer Andres Serrano and the basis of his current exhibition “The Game: All Things Trump” at the ArtX Gallery in west Manhattan.

With some 1,000 items related to the omnipresent US president, from a piece of wedding cake from his marriage to Melania Trump to a cap from his presidential campaign signed by porn star Stormy Daniels, to whom he is said to have paid $150,000 to buy her silence, the exhibit is a kind of remix not only of the triumphs of the New York magnate, but also of his flops.

The artist, known for such controversial works as “Piss Christ” (1987), in which he plunged a crucifix in his own urine, told EFE that the idea for this exposition came to him when he realized that on television and in the news, it’s all about the Donald.

And so, for more than a year, the artist, born in New York of Honduran and Cuban descent, threw himself into exploring the Internet for things related to the US president that were for sale on Web sites like the auction portal eBay, though he acquired others through word of mouth.

The items in the exhibit refresh the memory of visitors and recall that, besides gaining fame for the real estate business started by his father Fred Trump, the US president has tried his luck in numerous other sectors.

Trump Vodka, the Trump Shuttle airline, Trump University, and even Trump Empire Deodorant weren’t his most fortunate ideas, but they left behind a wide range of merchandise, examples of which are on view at the exhibition.

From the long list of businesses bearing the name of the president, Serrano also acquired golf balls, matchboxes, cups, sugar packets, shampoos, jewelry, watches and perfumes, as well as magazine covers bearing Trump’s autographed photos.

“Yeah, I spent a lot of money on it, probably around $200,000,” the artist said.

“I would spend a lot of time on eBay, many hours a day, looking for things that were rare, looking for things I didn’t want to lose. I didn’t want someone else to outbid me,” Serrano said.

Noteworthy among this sea of objects related to the 45th president of the United States is a large “EGO” in red letters from the Taj Majal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a problematic casino that went under following its big economic problems.

“I grew up in the ’50s with the idea that America was the greatest country in the world, that it was the freest country in the world, that it was the haven for all people, immigrants, anybody needing a helping hand,” Serrano added.

“There was no such thing as inequality in America or hate. And I think that’s all a thing of the past…Donald Trump has reminded us that America is still full of a lot of bad stuff,” he said.

The purpose of the exposition, according to the artist, is not to simply record an interesting bit of history, but to show how the US came to the point it’s at now after more than 40 to 50 years of Trump trying to gain power in the United States.