UnPresidented is a re-creation of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, The Scream. Instead of pastel strokes, however, it is drawn with Donald Trump quotations.
Munch’s masterwork (1895) was inspired by a blazing red sunset that felt to him as “a vast infinite scream through nature.” The painting’s ferocious angst befits this moment, as a primal scream rips through our civil society.
Beginning in the sky with his remarks on the size of his inaugural crowds, the piece reflects his years in office. The green swirling water captures his feelings towards the press, while the main figure’s face sports Trump’s musings on his own abilities. The two distant figures demonstrate the hyperbole of his discourse: they are the transcripts of two March 2020 press conferences, but only the adjectives and adverbs. The railings and sidewalk witness the unfolding horror of the pandemic, from “…it’s just one person,” to a death toll approaching 100,000. It concludes with “Make America Great Again” a slogan that has turned upon itself with an immediacy we all feel, as an infinite scream through nature.