Illma Gore’s painting, on display at Maddox Gallery in London now with a £1m pricetag, depicts the Republican presidential candidate with a small penis
by Patrick Greenfield
April 17, 2016
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An infamous nude of Donald Trump has attracted bids of over £100,000 after it went on display at the Maddox Gallery in Mayfair, London, last week, but the artist is being anonymously threatened with legal action if she sells it, due to its resemblance to the Republican presidential hopeful.
The piece by Illma Gore, titled Make America Great Again, depicts Trump with a small penis. It went viral in February after the artist published it on her Facebook page and has since been censored on social media sites and delisted from eBay after the anonymous filing of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice threatening to sue Gore.
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‘Make American Great Again’: Illma Gore’s rendition of Donald Trump. Photograph: Courtesy of Illma Gore
The Maddox Gallery in London offered to exhibit the painting after galleries in the US refused to host the piece due to security concerns following threats of violence from Trump’s supporters. Hundreds of visitors have queued to see the work.
Gore said: “The reaction, especially in the UK, has been incredibly supportive. Everywhere apart from America has been great. Who knew it would be such a big deal? I think an artist’s job is to take the times we’re living in and then set the scene. It is a representation of where we are.”
The LA-based artist has received thousands of death threats and travelled to the UK to escape the frenzy, agreeing to allow Mayfair to manage the sale of the controversial painting, now priced at £1m.
Cordelia de Freitas, Maddox gallery director, said: “It only really got out of hand when Donald Trump referenced it in a debate, which sums up Trump and his ego. From there, everyone wanted to see this image.”
Gore believes her work inspired Marco Rubio’s comments about the size of Trump’s hands at a Virginia rally in late February, where he said: “And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them.”
On 3 March, Trump responded: “[Rubio] referred to my hands, if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee.”
The size of Trump’s hands dominated the Republican primaries that week, and was even discussed at an editorial meeting with the Washington Post, where he defended his comments.
Trump’s sensitivity about his hands is believed to date back to Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s description of him as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in the 1980s.
Gore states she will donate her part of the fee for the painting to the charity Safe Place for Youth, a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.