VIDEO: Artist Makes Trump Image from Animal Parts for International Show

Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:00:14

U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been pilloried in many ways, over his bouffant hair, orange skin and supposedly small hands, but a British artist has now used raw pig and sheep parts to represent him at a Hong Kong art show.

The Trump installation is a photograph of a human model wearing a blond bouffant hairpiece over a face constructed from a real pig snout and sheep eye balls. A half-eaten croissant, raw fish, chunks of rubble covered in gold leaf and a suit splashed with crude oil complete the ensemble.

“This body of work is called the ego system and Trump was one of the first starting points for it. I think I kind of wanted to create an icon, a visual icon, of, I suppose, the megalomania that’s got to the point where his need for attention is overriding any kind of relationship or care for anyone else in the world really,” artist James Ostrer told Reuters.

In a separate written statement, Ostrer explained he was responding to the “vast divide between what we are being sold and what we are actually getting” and said he couldn’t see Trump as anything other than a “deranged insecure attention seeker.”

“Well, I mean, so if you look at the elements in the work, it’s full of references to the commodities market. Whether that’s crude oil pouring out of the holes of his suit. Or chunks of rubble I’ve painted gold in reference to his empire of buildings. And, you know, essentially although it seems clear that financially he would have been better off just investing all of his inheritance, most of which has been involved in his failed business venture but at the same time promising to make America great,” Ostrer added.

There was no response from Trump’s team to an email seeking comment about Ostrer’s caricature.

The real-estate billionaire and former reality TV star has made a series of controversial statements on subjects including illegal immigration and national security. Such remarks have boosted his popularity with supporters who see him as someone who speaks uncomfortable truths, but have also outraged millions in the United States and around the world.

Ostrer, whose Hong Kong installation also includes equally grotesque portraits of U.S. golfer Tiger Woods, Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus, said he chose them for what they represented.

He describes his celebrity caricatures as “honesty portraits”, not chosen because he dislikes the individuals, but because they are “perfectly emblematic of certain aspects of the contemporary human condition.” Each portrait includes the number of Google searches on its subject at the time of the exhibition, based on Google Trends data.
Ostrer said he visits meat and fish markets for materials, which he mixes in much the same way as a painter might mix colors, Reuters reported.

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