Saturday, May 7, 2016

Illma Gore: 'If anyone is going to be threatened by a small penis, it's Trump'

Artist whose painting of nude Trump went viral gives her account of being the target of his campaign’s hate machine and being physically attacked in LA

It is said that art is not what you see, but what you make others see. When it comes to my nude painting of Donald Trump, some say I’ve made them see too much. But I believe the human body is the ultimate work of art.
For two months I have been under attack by Donald Trump and his supporters for painting the presumptive Republican nominee with a small penis. I’ve received death threats, rape threats and anonymous phone calls demanding I remove the image from my social media accounts or risk going to court. And last week, as I was walking in my neighborhood in Los Angeles, a Trump supporter punched me in the face…

I published my portrait of Trump on Facebook on 9 February, and could have never anticipated what the next few weeks were going to hold. Within 24 hours, my work was on the front page of Reddit and banned from Facebook. In three days, it had been viewed over 50m times. A few days after that, I was slapped with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notice – a legal complaint filed by a third party through Facebook, arguing their copyright was being violated by me.

When I started painting in January, I felt that if anyone would be threatened by a fictional small penis it’s Trump. But I didn’t anticipate that he would turn his dislike into such a personal affront, even going so far as to defend his penis size during the Republican debate on 4 March.


The body I painted is not fictional – it is a portrait of a friend. In portraying his body with Trump’s face, I wanted to raise questions about how we think about gender: if I painted Trump with a massive penis, why would we then take it as a signal that he is powerful? Why would a small penis be viewed as effeminate? And what is wrong with effeminacy to begin with?... read more: