jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london
 

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

designboom spots donald trump during visit to frieze london 2018

 

as a year filled with deafening anti-trump expression draws to a close, the ideas that frieze london‘s 16th edition might set the stage for similar remarks would be a prediction not misjudged, except in this case it is. of the 160 galleries that have come to regent’s park from across the world this particular political sentiment is mercifully shy, or at the very least, a little subtle. take a studious look at american contemporary artist jim shaw’s exhibit and you’ll see a warped representation of the U.S. president makes the backdrop for a series of portraits. shaw has mounted his installation with a wallpaper especially created for the event made up of many contorted, cartoon faces of donald trump.

 

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

official portrait #3 (pillars of society), 2018

all images by designboom courtesy of the artist and simon lee gallery

 

 

shaw draws on the history of the grotesque, using an historical lens through which to evoke inequalities of the present, with particular focus on the gilded age. he was inspired by a tour of the vatican in which he discovered pagan images, particularly of nymphs and satyrs. shaw was particularly interested in the fact that the revival of the grotesque was part of the renaissance rediscovery of the classical world. ‘I originally wanted to do an installation that would evoke a rediscovery of the ruined mar-a-lago in the far future as a corollary to the finding of nero’s ‘grotto’. this was quite a bit more than a fair booth could handle, needing a collapsed roof, aged, water-soaked walls, etc, so instead it’s more of an edwardian (?) study or drawing room‘, he explains in an interview with frieze magazine.

 

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

I want you, 2018

 

 

since the 1970s, shaw has found inspiration for his artworks from a treasure trove of american culture, from comic books to pulp novels, and rock albums to protest posters. the works hanging atop this homage to the US president look like history paintings, which, in a surrealist superimposition of seemingly unrelated images, rework symbols and motifs to create story-like threads that draw on the current political climate.

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

all the president’s men, 2018

 

 

shaw pulls an expected cast of american stars and stripes, casting a surrealist spotlight on the circus of power that is and has always been the US of A. one presents a scene of aztec sacrifice, with cameos from richard nixon, paul manafort, and roger stone. a smaller piece appropriates francisco de goya’s saturn devouring his son (1820–23), superimposed with uncle sam’s ‘I want you for U.S. army’ recruitment poster. shaw pulls an expected cast of american stars and stripes, casting a surrealist spotlight on the circus of power that is the USA.

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

hush money, 2018

 

 

shaw puts roy cohn’s face on the body of a hush puppies basset hound in another painting. cohn, dubbed the ‘original donald trump’ and whose name is synonymous with the rise of mccarthyism, a vociferous campaign against alleged communists in america during the 1950s, had mentored the US president in his rise to real estate mogul during the 1980s. elsewhere, reclusive right-wing funder robert mercer stands in front of an alien abduction scene unfolding in the parking lot of a restaurant called ‘ass burger’. 

 

jim shaw’s solo presentation can be found at frieze london at simon lee gallery’s booth, stand E6.

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

official portrait #2 (man machine), 2018

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

tragedy display, 2018

jim shaw illustrates trump's contorted facial features in gilded wallpaper at frieze london

to serve mankind, 2018

  • The final painting reproduced in this article (the Mercers) is rife with ironic references that I cannot help but wonder about, concerning whether they are deliberate, or not.

    There is no foubt that Robert Mercer is very intelligent, his past career with IBM, and his financial success attest to that.

    Likewise, he is most eccentric, in a charming “buy-a-deputization-to-legally-be-allowed-a-concealed-carry” sort of way.

    This begs the wuestionof whether or not “Ass Burgers” is a reference to Asperger’s Syndrome?

    Certainly it has a significant rate of occurrence among people of Mercer’s profile, and the atypical empathic trait would account for his willingness to manipulate masses of people against their own self-interest, despite being very unlikely to be a psychopath.

    There are also layers of reference in the facilitation of mass abductions by himself and his daughter.

    His involvement with the Cambridge Analytica scandals is only the lead in to his ambitions.

    With an easily distracted populace that is already primed to be susceptable to many foms of conditioning, his heavy investments in AI development take on a decidingly sinister note, and the themes of the entire piece evoke Adam Freeland’s track from several years ago, “We Want Your Soul”.

    Jim Shaw reveals a combination of observation based thought, and brilliant intuition throughout these pieces, it would be a fine thing to see his work popping up in the travelling poster fairs that frequent institutions pf post-secondary learning.

    Darryl R Taylor says:

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