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Fri Dec 21, 2018, 10:39 PM

Trump portrait: you couldn't create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried

Jonathan Jones
Fri 21 Dec 2018 15.42 EST Last modified on Fri 21 Dec 2018 17.32 EST

The absence of intimacy in the Trumps’ official Christmas portrait freezes the heart. Can it be that hard to create a cosy image of the presidential couple, perhaps in front of a roaring hearth, maybe in seasonal knitwear? Or is this quasi-dictatorial image exactly what the president wants to project? Look on my Christmas trees, ye mighty, and despair! If so, it fuels suspicions that it is only the checks and balances of a 230-year-old constitution that are keeping America from the darkest of political fates.

You couldn’t create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried. Multiple Christmas trees are currently a status symbol for the wealthy, but this picture shows the risks. Instead of a homely symbol of midwinter cheer, these disciplined arboreal ranks with their uniform decorations are arrayed like massed soldiers or colossal columns designed by Albert Speer. The setting is the Cross Hall in the White House and, while the incumbent president cannot be held responsible for its architecture, why heighten its severity with such rigid, heartless seasonal trappings?

Everything here communicates cold, empty magnificence. Tree lights that are as frigid as icicles are mirrored in a cold polished floor. Equally frosty illuminations are projected on the ceiling. Instead of twinkling fairy magic, this lifeless lighting creates a sterile, inhuman atmosphere. You can’t imagine kids playing among these trees or any conceivable fun being had by anyone. It suggests the micromanaged, corporate Christmas of a Citizen Kane who has long since lost touch with the ordinary, warm pleasures of real life.

In the centre of this disturbing piece of conceptual art stand Donald and Melania Trump. He’s in a tuxedo, she’s wearing white – and not a woolly hat in sight. Their formal smartness adds to the emotional numbness of the scene.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/21/trump-portrait-you-couldnt-create-a-creepier-yuletide-scene-if-you-tried

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Reply Trump portrait: you couldn't create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2018 OP
CatMor Dec 2018 #1
klook Dec 2018 #4
yonder Dec 2018 #2
nancy1942 Dec 2018 #3
rooboy Dec 2018 #5
Sedona Dec 2018 #6
marble falls Dec 2018 #7
lanlady Dec 2018 #8

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2018, 10:47 PM

1. That's because they are two creepy people.

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Response to CatMor (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 21, 2018, 11:06 PM

4. Note to self:

Parody of “Two Sleepy People.”

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2018, 10:48 PM

2. Well-written, while pretty much nailing it down. Thanks for the link JL.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2018, 10:59 PM

3. Mr and Mrs Dracula, I presume?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2018, 02:19 AM

5. A Stanley Kubrik Christmas. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2018, 03:43 AM

6. Sigh

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Response to Sedona (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 22, 2018, 09:23 AM

7. The Obama photo. Thanks for the Obama photo!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 05:21 PM

8. where's the kid by the way?

I'm beginning to think Donald stuck him between a couple of hamburg buns and ate him.

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