Dear Mr. Trump,
In late January 2016 I released my painting, “Make America Great Again”, depicting you with a micro-penis. The image went viral and was widely used as a visual criticism throughout your Presidential campaign. Dubbed the “antonym to Shephard Fairey’s ‘Hope’”, my 11x14 painting became a fixture in the zeitgeist of the divisive 2016 election. resulted in me being banned from most of the internet, lookalike statues popping up around the country, hand gesturing debates and more. I received death threats, was served legal documents, was constantly harassment online, and was even punched in the face. However, I am here to say sorry.
I would like to apologize to you. It must be truly painful for your family to see their father, grandfather, and husband continuously mocked for a made-up image of you in the nude.
I am sincerely sorry for the role I played in the criticism of your body. You, as a human being, do not deserve to be judged by fictional ideas of your body by anyone. A body does not fit into one of two categories: right or wrong, strong or weak. And while I believe this, through my own understanding of implicit bias knew that a small penis is mostly viewed unfavorably.
Gender and perceived penis size holds tremendous power in today’s society. If it didn’t, no one would have paid attention to my painting of you.
Your body, whatever it looks like and is capable of, does not define the job you do or your ability to do that job well.
Reproductive organs should never determine whether or not you can fight for our country on the front-lines of our army.
Nor should it ever decide who your spouse should or shouldn’t be, or where you can go to the bathroom.
55 years ago, the Equal Pay Act was signed by President John F. Kennedy to protect the rights of all from wage disparity, your income should certainly be protected by it.
Never should anatomy affect your access to birth control nor should The Constitution ever regulate or tax you for your natural bodily functions.
Mr. Trump. How you act, how you are perceived by others, and what your body looks like does not mean you are asking for it. You did not personally ask me to paint your nude portrait. I made the choice to start painting, and I stand here taking full responsibility.
This problem of body image I wish to solve is a problem we all created. And to dismantle it, we must face it head on. I do these paintings not because they are wrong but because I believe in my message, and I will not stop until it is clear.
to call this body shaming is to ignore the oppression that created it.
Artwork is not a guide to human decency and morality. That’s what the government is supposed to be.