BRIAN ANDREW WHITELEY
(I SEE YOU)
VLADIMIR PUTIN PAINTING AT TRUMP’S DC
|On August 1st, Brian Andrew Whiteley placed his painting of Vladimir Putin in the Pennsylvania Avenue suite at Trump's DC Hotel. The room overlooked the Washington Monument and was steps away from the White House. Three weeks later, there was still no response from the Hotel. What had happened to the painting? Whiteley went back in early September to investigate. When he arrived again he told the Trump staff that he had "forgot something in the suite". They allowed him access to the suite and there it was...still hanging. The painting was up for an entire month! After jostling with the staff, security and the management, he was able to prove that the painting was his property. At that point Whiteley was forcibly removed from the property and thrown out of the hotel.|
WHAT DID THIS PROJECT PROVE?
Complicit Guests: Numerous guests had stayed at Trump's DC hotel since the placement of the painting. No one had an issue with a painting of Vladimir Putin hanging in the President's hotel...steps from the White House.
Complicit Staff: The fact that the hotel management lied to the press about this hanging in their hotel (even with receipts and documentation) proves the level of corruption happening in all facets of the trump organization/administration.
Projects like the Vladimir Putin Painting, the Trump Tombstone and Golden Showers: A Sex Hex (The recreation of the infamous Golden Showers/Russian Dossier with artist Rebecca Goyette) were designed to portray larger, more complex and abstract ideas festering in the public conscious about the Trump administration. Ideas that are generally known but are lacking the "proof". I hope that these projects pull back the curtain a bit and shed some light on the state of affairs in America. - Brian Andrew Whiteley
BALLOON FETISH PART I
THE TRUMP TOMBSTONE
The 500-pound “Legacy Stone”, covertly placed in Central Park around 4 a.m. on Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016), came into the public eye via an early-morning jogger’s Instagram post. The stone read "Made America Hate Again" and bore the name “Trump, Donald J.” in sharp letters. Though it was removed by the NYPD in fewer than three hours, the work received immediate viral media attention, followed by an extensive criminal investigation. While images of the worked rapidly circulated on social media and as police searched for the “perpetrator,” the artist remained at large for nearly two months, taunting investigators with anonymous television, print, and online interviews. With Trump’s birth year but an open-ended death date, Whiteley anonymously affirmed the work to the New York Times as not as a death threat but rather a message to Trump that at that point (April of 2016), there was still time for the candidate to alter his legacy. Eventually the Secret Service tracked down Whiteley where he was made to release his mental health records and went through an extensive interrogation, including interviews with friends and family. After the interrogation the charges were dropped to just a littering fine.
Legacy Stone was the earliest viral artworks created in response to the unprecedented nature of the 2016 Republican candidacy, and the piece has taken on expanded resonance with the election and presidency of Donald Trump. The epitaph "Made America Hate Again", still rings true.