US elections through the prism of art

Donald Trump and Andy Warhol. 1980s

Gallery owner David Zwirner arranges a sales exhibition in support of Joe Biden while Donald Trump is transporting art from the embassy.

Politicians are not alien to the craving for beauty. The main contenders in the 2020 US presidential election – incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic leader Joe Biden – made headlines for two art reasons.

Gallery owner David Zwirner is preparing a large online auction in support of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. The “Artists for Biden” auction will be held on the website from October 2 to 8, a month before the November 3 election day.

All proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to the Biden Victory Fund, the official fundraising fund for Biden’s presidential campaign. Such an event in the art world is a clever PR move.

The list of auction participants (in other words, Biden supporters) includes more than a hundred artists, including such big names as Jeff Koons, KAWS, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, and others.

For example, Jeff Koons donated a series of 40 prints with the American flag for auction.

The lots will be available to both wealthy and novice collectors: the price range of works from $ 2.5 thousand to $ 350 thousand.

When asked if the dealer was worried that the auction would affect the image of his gallery, David Zwirner replied that galleries should talk about politics. He has many wonderful collectors acquaintances who are definitely Republican, and he hopes they won’t blame him.

As for Donald Trump, the story that got into the media the other day actually happened in November 2018. That was during the visit of the American president to Paris.

At the residence of the American ambassador to France, Jamie McCourt, Trump liked several works, and since everything on the territory of the embassy formally belongs to the United States, the president ordered his findings to be transported to the White House – a portrait and bust of Benjamin Franklin and a couple of silver statues of Greek gods.

A White House spokesman said the President had returned these beautiful historical items to the American people and that their total cost was about $ 750,000.

However, later, it turned out that the “Portrait of Benjamin Franklin” by the French portrait painter Joseph Duplessis is in fact a copy. His bust is also a replica from the original. And the silver figurines of the gods are copies of the 20th century, from the originals of the 16th – 17th centuries.

But, the figurines of gods still adorn the fireplace in the Oval Office of the White House. The copy of the bust of Franklin, according to the president, is even better than the original. Well, a copy of Duplessis’s portrait was urgently replaced with the original. The original “Portrait of Benjamin Franklin” all this time hung in the National Portrait Gallery – 5 minutes from the White House.



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