Artist Chris Santa Maria debuts "PRESIDENT TRUMP" (2016 - 2020)

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Artist Chris Santa Maria debuts "PRESIDENT TRUMP" (2016 - 2020)
Chris Santa Maria, “PRESIDENT TRUMP” (2016 – 2020). Paper collage on canvas, 72 x 72 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Artist Chris Santa Maria debuted a monumental collage work “PRESIDENT TRUMP” (2016 – 2020) taking over the window on 10th Avenue and 23rd Street at Jim Kempner Fine Art. At once a document encapsulating the unprecedented media environment surrounding the turbulence of Donald Trump’s four years as president, the large scale collage is also a performance reflecting on how we consume news and imagery that simultaneously repulses and compels. The work will be on view through November 7, 2020.

“In 2016 like many people, I was disturbed by the election of Donald Trump and began the collage as a way to work through my own fascination and revulsion at the situation we found ourselves in as Americans,” states Santa Maria. “The work has been an ongoing 4-year process charting the whiplash pace of scandals, misdeeds and lies of Donald Trump’s presidency. I didn’t set out to be repulsive but over the course of these 4 years the imagery and collective trauma of our national experience has rendered something grotesque but equally important as a reflection of this experience.”

Reminiscent of the nightmarish scenes of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Santa Maria’s “PRESIDENT TRUMP” (2016 – 2020) is comprised of a cacophony of discreet moments captured by the media and contextualized together to create a undulating mass of highly recognizable imagery. Taken as a whole the work grapples with key moments in our nation’s narrative from the past 4 years through imagery sourced from the media: the rise of the alt-right, the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Hilary Clinton’s election loss, deconstructed iconography of flags and presidential crests, popular culture icons, religious iconography, Vladimir Putin, the Black Lives Matter movement, and anatomical details of President Trump. Trump is surrounded by the pastoral landscape of country club golf courses, towering over a chaotic assemblage of imagery representing American transgression, superiority, and entertainment while Trump is an all-devouring colossus, grabbing and smashing everything in his path.

The work will be on view at Jim Kempner Fine Art through November 7, 2020.

Chris Santa Maria (b. 1982) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. His work has been exhibited widely in the US including at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in 2018, Pence Gallery at University of California, Davis, and the Phoenix Art Museum amongst other group gallery exhibitions in New York City and Phoenix. His work is in prominent collections including that of Beth Rudin DeWoody. Santa Maria received his BFA from Arizona State University.

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