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Trump - Torn Posters / Queen Elizabeth II - Balmoral Tartan

I put a lot of thought into this one, and I'm quite proud of the results. As always, I have to acknowledge the efforts of the extremely prolific Gage Skidmore for the source photo of Trump:

This image encapsulates the man so well - his arrogance, disdain, suspicion, judgementalism, aloofness, self-satisfaction, lack of humour, and so much more. He has the look of a man deciding if it's worth the effort to drown a dog.

The texture photo used to fill the design is one of mine, taken in Amsterdam in 2005. I love the visual potency of a ravaged message board or a layered melange of distressed ads and posters as a symbol of the extreme (and nowadays not-so-extreme) right wing. The piling on of conspiracies and grifts and false narratives, over and over, creating a shitty cultural laminate that is both unintelligible and ugly. I've used a similar image to texture/fill Alex Jones in one of my earlier works. I chose this particular photo because of the red, white and blue elements and the general scabbiness of the underlying plastic. Plastic because Trump is genuinely fake. Scabby and distressed to reflect his corruption. The colours of the American flag watered-down and tainted.

The composition and placement of the texture photo and how it related to the stencil of Trump's face was also carefully considered: The suggestion of a red clown nose and a red-slickened chin. The lightness under his eye. The blue on part of his face echoing the demented Mel Gibson as Braveheart. The only decipherable word is "dinner," appropriate for a man who is all id and appetite.

As with all of these stencil-style graphics that I make of disreputable/shitty people, I am acutely aware that they have a pretty limited application. They are good for blogs and online publishing, but ultimately I want to make shirts and other products. At the end of the day, if you're wearing a shirt with this design on it, you are wearing a picture of Trump and giving power to the man, no matter the commentary. There is also the possibility that a Trump fan could wear it non-ironically, but I care a lot less about that. Go for it - they will be wearing a picture of Trump with a clown nose and a bloody chin and I'm okay with that. Besides, that's what happens when you release stuff like this out into the wild; you have no control over eventual applications.

I donated this design to Wikimedia Commons, so it available for anyone to use for any reason. A credit to "Justus Hayes / WhyTheAlgarve" is appreciated but not necessary. Fill your boots.


"Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't have a lot say." Ah, the Beatles. :-)

The Queen is, obviously, a complicated figure, and it is way beyond my personal knowledge to comment much on her. I settled on this very recent photo provided to the Commons by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office because it depicts her as very human and not at all idealized. She looks kind of pissed off, almost glaring. There's something about her eyes that remind me a lot of the eyes of my grandmother and great-grandmother in their later years - hooded and world-weary. Eyes that ask, "What's this shit now?"

The image of the tartan was donated to the Commons by Kittybrewster. "The Balmoral tartan - designed by Prince Albert in 1853 - has been worn by every British monarch since Queen Victoria. Its distinctive grey, black and red plaid was designed to match the colours of granite in Aberdeenshire, where the Balmoral Estate is located" (The Scotsman). Of course, I couldn't resist running a strip of red through her eyes so that it looks like she is working on a good bake.

This design has also been donated to Wikimedia Commons.



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