There are several theories related to Donald Trump’s political origins. Who made him turn to politics?
Some say the Tea Party is to blame. Some say The Apprentice is the reason. Some think it was Seth Myers at the 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner. Singer Gwen Stefani has even been implicated. Even a random guy on Twitter has been blamed.
The buck will never not be passed as it relates to the crusty citrine’s political origin story. This is why the latest person implicated is so amazing and random, laughable and credible: Andy Warhol.
Industry rag The Art Newspaper has posited this, relating it to a Warhol’s upcoming Whitney show. It all has to do with Trump commissioning Warhol to do some portraits after bumping into him at a party. Warhol created a series of black, grey, and silver silkscreens that the now-president did not like. Warhol claimed that his creations confused the Trumps and that the family is “sort of cheap.” Big surprise here.
Where this gets interesting – and should have ended in distaste – is that Trump has gone on to adopt some of Warhol’s credos, thinking himself an artist in his own way. The story explains.
Trump retained an esteem for Warhol, however, quoting in two of his books the artist’s tongue-in-cheek maxim: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
Asked about today’s Trumpian climate, Donna De Salvo, the curator of the Whitney show, says: “I think many of us didn’t expect we would be where we are now. There may be some who see Warhol as the cause of it all.”
And there we have it.
Was the artist really the cause of our current climate of distaste? Probably not. But zooming out, looking at his critiques of conspicuous consumption and capitalism and the like along with celebrity adoration and disdain rings very true to the now. Maybe he really did make Trump? Then again, he may have made all of us.
Thanks, Warhol! We hate it.