I’M DONALD J. TRUMP AND I APPROVED THIS MESSAGE is my reaction to his statement during the Axios interview about the number of COVID-19 deaths which at that time were running over 1000 per day with an aggregate of over 150,000. I was startled, not by his total lack of empathy that there was an individual life behind each one of those numbers; that I expected, but by his callous, off-handed dismissal of the numbers themselves encapsulated in the statement: “It is what it is”. It seemed that to him, both the lives lost and the numbers of them were irrelevant, or at most, inconvenient nuisances for his re-election campaign. My artistic problem was how to express this in a single visual image. I chose to put the statement into a campaign ad format complete with the required “approval language” and after several efforts (tombstones, different religious symbols, etc.) to combine it with the visual image set out in John McCrae’s iconic World War I poem In Flanders Fields: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row”. , but to vary the sizes and shapes of the crosses to recognize and honor the individuality behind each one. I’M DONALD J. TRUMP AND I APPROVED THIS MESSAGE is a white on black paper collage using recycled and repurposed advertising and packaging materials. (1307)) (2020) (20” x 16”) ($125)
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Such a strong image. So direct. Great.