The Essence of Trump


Artist book in full color, inkjet printed on lustre paper, handbound with hardcover.
This book and the images included were inspired by various photographs of the Trump family. During the search for family photographs of the Trumps, I realized that the only family photos I could find were professionally shot and with an obvious presence of Photoshop. It was obvious that the objective of taking these photos was to publish them with the intention of showing their affluence to “others”; it was not to tell a family history amongst said family, nor to have them as private memories for, nor by, the members of the family.

It is difficult for me to create work about Trump, not only for the hate I have toward him, but because his image is so well-known and has such a power around it that it distracts from any other message in the artwork. For that reason, in this book I did not include any image of his face (although his hands do appear). Instead of using his “easy image”, let’s say, I intended to create a portrait of the essence of his entire family through images that I found in Google searches, which were inspired by the professionally-shot photographs of the family.

All of these images act as metaphors of how I personally see him, and specifically how I view his public image. The quality of some images is very low, the image begins to fall apart, we pay more attention to the structures of the medium instead of being distracted by the grandness of the image. But in others, the quality remains. How can we critically question the images that always look polished in the same way that we doubt low-quality images?