Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Hello Kitty president / Le président Hello Kitty

2017 . 11 . 08 - Comments / Commentaires (7)

This video is about my second presidential portrait.

Cette vidéo explique mon deuxième portrait présidentiel.


For more about the first portrait, go here. My initial response to Trumpers appropriating my art came in the form of this video in which I talk about how people ask women and artists to shut up.


Pour en savoir plus sur le premier portrait, allez ici.



Gwenn Seemel

photo by David / photo par David

Hello Sh*tty is a complex painting, full of details referring to the many offensive aspects of Trump’s regime.

Hello Sh*tty est une peinture complexe, pleine de détails faisant référence aux nombreux aspects offensifs du régime de Trump.



Trump as Hello Kitty

Gwenn Seemel
Hello Sh*tty, available in a White House near you! (Grab him by his pussy.) /
         Hello Sh*tty, disponible dans une Maison Blanche près de chez vous! (Attrape-le par sa chatte.)

2017
acrylic on canvas / acrylique sur toile
30 x 30 inches / 76 x 76 centimètres

They’re not all explained in the video or this post, but if you have questions about the imagery I’m happy to answer.

Ils ne sont pas tous expliqués dans la vidéo ou ce post, mais si vous avez des questions sur l’imagerie, je serais ravie de répondre.



Trump as Hello Kitty

detail of Hello Sh*tty / détail de Hello Sh*tty

Painting the symbol of a bull crapping on the syringe was deeply satisfying to me. To explain: as a woman, society constantly pressures me to be quiet and sweet. While I’ve successfully broken out of the “good little girl” box in many areas of my life, I’ve stayed fairly pretty in my art. For years, I’ve chose to focus on the positive, veering only into the vaguely melancholy now and again.

Peindre le symbole d’un taureau en train de faire caca sur la seringue m’a plu énormément. Pour expliquer, d’abord il faut traduire: le mot anglais pour les excréments d’un taureau est “bullsh*t” et cela veut aussi dire “conneries.” En tant que femme, il existe une pression constante pour être calme et douce. Même si j’ai réussi à sortir de la boête de la petite fille gentille dans de nombreux domaines de ma vie, je suis restée très jolie dans mon art. Pendant des années, j’ai choisi de me concentrer sur le positif, me laissant rarement aller vers la mélancolie.



golf clubs

detail of Hello Sh*tty / détail de Hello Sh*tty

But all that changed with Trump’s response to the protests in Charlottesville last August and my Tiki torch Trump painting. I’m not sure where this will lead, but the bull taking a dump is me drawing a line. Enough is enough when it comes to the “good little girl” box.

Mais tout cela a changé avec la réponse de Trump aux manifestations à Charlottesville en aoùt dernier et ma peinture de Trump en forme de flambeau. Je ne sais pas où cela mènera, mais le taureau représente un nouveau début. J’en ai assez d’essayer de rentrer dans la boîte de petite fille gentille.



Putin on a dollar bill

detail of Hello Sh*tty / détail de Hello Sh*tty

For years, random Christians on the Web have contacted me to tell me I should paint a portrait of Jesus, hoping, I suspect, that I would be saved in the process. Well, I finally did it, though I’m not sure my religious admirers will appreciate the commentary on them that comes with the portrait.

Pendant des années, des chrétiens au hasard sur la Toile m’ont encouragé à peindre un portrait de Jésus, espérant, je le soupçonne, que je serais sauvée dans le processus. Le portrait est enfin fait, mais ce n’est pas sûr que mes admirateurs religieux apprécieront le commentaire sur eux qui vient avec le portrait.



Trump and Rocket Man

detail of Hello Sh*tty / détail de Hello Sh*tty

Hello Sh*tty is available as prints and things here and the original is also available for $2500.

Il y a des impressions de Hello Sh*tty ici et l’original est disponible pour $2500.


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(7) Comments / Commentaires: Hello Kitty president / Le président Hello Kitty

-- Libby Fife -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

Gwenn,

Another winning rendition of your thoughts onto canvas! Good for you. I do love all of the very clever symbolism and am glad that you explained some of it in the vlog.

I hope that you will talk about the reactions that you get. And I hope that this time your ideas and thoughts won’t be misappropriated although I tend to think that people are spin artists at heart, justification being a good coping mechanism.

And your piece made me think about my own reactions. I of course support your interpretation, both because it is yours but also because it’s my viewpoint too. But what if my viewpoint was different? Suppose I supported Trump and his ideas? Could I see this piece of art as free expression, even if I didn’t approve? I really hope so and like to think that I could.

Great job and good for you for having another thoughtful go at this idea. I hope you will put the image in your Red Bubble shop:)
Libby

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-- libby fife -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

My mistake! I missed the link at the end to Red Bubble!
Libby

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

@Libby: It’s interesting to me how actual Trump supporters (not people like you who are trying to imagine what it would be like to be them) are still acting like they’re not the ones in power or like their ideas aren’t the ones that are being promoted by the loudest voice in the world right now. Even after their daddy was elected, they continued to behave defensively about him. It seems like they don’t realize that they have power and that when you have it you (normally) don’t need to claim it quite so aggressively. It’s like they know their ideas are fringe and should have remained fringe. It’s like they like the fight more than what they say they’re fighting for.

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-- libby fife -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

Couldn’t agree more on that-people just like to argue sometimes and don’t care about causes, etc. It’s a shame too. And maybe it’s a good thing that that power isn’t being harnessed. Things are bad enough.

I truly believe in the power of voting as a way to be heard. I feel like the power of that vote has been diminished.

Libby
PS-If you add a notebook option in your shop, I am all over it! Not that I am suggesting anything…:):):)

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-- Roberta Warshaw -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

This is really fabulous! You are on a roll!

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-- Cathy Hasty -- 2017 . 11 . 08 --

I deeply appreciate the thoughtful and powerful witness that you present in your art; in both the visual and the auditory reflection.  I imagine that there is a personal cost to you as you have to engage these hard emotions and bring to light the truth that you are tightly focusing.  I felt some comfort in our most recent local elections but it is only a tiny representation of the drastic changes that must occur.  These are evil times.  Peace to you,

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 11 . 09 --

@Libby: I want to believe in the power of voting as well! This talk by Larry Lessig made it clear that voting had been diminished long before the 2016 election. (Interestingly, Lessig used to be really focused on free culture, but once he saw the money-in-elections problem he decided that no other freedoms counted until we’d figured out how to make elections actually free.) And I didn’t put the image on the notebook originally because I couldn’t see how to do the square composition in a way I liked, but I figured something out. Thanks for asking! smile

@Roberta: Thank you!!!

@Cathy: I don’t like that you have to say it, but I like that you do say it. I agree that these are evil times. Hopefully we’ll learn from them and build a better world. Hugs! <3

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