Blog / 2021 / Roundup of Political Art Made during Trump’s Reign

January 12, 2021

political art under Trump
Gwenn Seemel’s political art round-up

Inspired by Amy Davis Roth’s very pleasing post, I’m doing a roundup of all the political art I’ve made since 45’s particular brand of hatefulness and greed hijacked the United States. I’m including only the images that have an almost meme-like quality in the directness of the message, leaving out the stuff like Empathetic Magic and Baby Sees ABCs which are more nuanced. As with all my work, please use these images as you like!

swirly rainbow heart drawing
Gwenn Seemel
Rainbow Heart
2016
marker and pen on paper
(Get prints and other items here.)

This drawing only happened because I wanted to make this video for Americans like me who were about to attend their first Thanksgiving celebration after Trump’s election and who were dreading dealing with the more MAGAlicious members of their gene pool.

Trump as a Tiki torch, a reference to his support of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017
Gwenn Seemel
The Light of the Right (Donald Trump as a Tiki Torch)
2017
acrylic on canvas
24 x 18 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

Created in the hours after 45 famously said that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville in 2017, this is the first portrait I painted of Trump and my second piece of angry art as a professional artist—with this being my first.

Donald Trump holding a syringe full of bull crap and surrounded by the destruction of his Presidency, image featured in Newsweek
Gwenn Seemel
Hello Sh*tty, Available in a White House Near You! (Grab Him by His Pussy.)
2017
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

After some Trumpers adopted the Tiki Torch piece as a beautiful representation of their daddy-god, I painted this portrait with a very specific anti-audience in mind. Of course, in 2019, this piece surprised me by finding a different anti-audience who censored the painting and ended up really messing with my artistic confidence.

Anita Hill as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz confronting Senator Alan Simpson painting from 2017
Gwenn Seemel
Because Because Because Because! Because of the [Horrible] Things [the Patriarchy] Does!
2017
acrylic on panel
20 x 10 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

And because in making the Trump portraits I’d broken my fourteen year streak of only painting people I’d actually met, I decided to portray one of my heroes as well! Anita Hill’s #MeToo advocacy before hashtags were even a thing was an early feminist awakening for me.

queer rainbow heart design by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
My Heart
2018
acrylic on unmounted canvas
10 x 11 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

I painted this patch for my winter jacket. It conveys exactly who I am to the homophobes in the super-Trumpy region of Jersey where I live.

an American terrorist or a blond representation of Jesus wearing robes made of the American flag and shooting thoughts and prayers out of an AR-15 gun
Gwenn Seemel
Terrorist
2018
acrylic on unmounted canvas
24 x 35 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

I couldn’t go to the March for Our Lives in DC in 2018, so this was my remote contribution to the cause.

a polar bear standing on a small iceberg supported by trash and dead fish
Gwenn Seemel
The Tip of the Iceberg
2018
acrylic on panel
14 x 11 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

At this point, I realized that, if I was going to be making less-than-positive political artwork, I wanted to address global warming.

yin and yang of beaver ecosystems, painted in acrylic by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Building a Beaver World
2020
acrylic on canvas
18 inches in diameter
(Get prints and other items here.)

I finished this piece late in 2020—two and a half years after The Tip of the Iceberg—but it’s also a part of my drive to make more ecologically-minded art.

person in a hazmat suit having tea surrounded by feathers
Gwenn Seemel
When People Tell Me Everything Is Going to Be Okay
2019
acrylic on canvas
16 x 14 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

As is this artwork from 2019. Though this figure in a hazmat suit sure looks like the perfect pandemic painting, it predates COVID and is inspired by my solastalgia.

a painting of developers and power players in Portland, Oregon hanging over the neighborhood they are destroying
Gwenn Seemel
Dirty Hands (Mayor Charlie Hales’ Legacy)
2018
acrylic on a fiberglass door
78 x 35 inches

This is public art commissioned by Make Room, a now-defunct organization that focused on solving the rental housing crisis in the US. In 2018, Make Room brought together a bunch of artists to paint doors like this one.

political art depicting the criminals of the Trump administration
Gwenn Seemel
They Really Don’t Care
2018
acrylic on unmounted canvas
28 x 39 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

This piece can’t help but disappoint, because it’s 45 along with just 113 of the criminals who support him. There are so many more I wish could have included, some of whom didn’t come out as pro-Trump until after I started working on the image.

US flag for true patriots with red, white, and rainbow
Gwenn Seemel
For True Patriots
2020
acrylic on unmounted canvas
12 x 18 inches
(Get your own rainbow American flag mask.)

As soon as my print-on-demand shop introduced art masks, I began creating with these items in mind, starting with this rainbow American flag for one of my favorite people.

“For Your Safety” and “Because Pandemic” mask designs by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
For Your Safety and Because Pandemic
2020
mask designs

These wordy artworks were designed for those who want their masks to speak for themselves. For Your Safety is my top-selling face-covering, and Because Pandemic is pretty popular too.

COVID fan art by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel’s Lifesavers Fan Art series

All that said, my biggest pro-mask statement isn’t actually something that goes on a mask: it’s Lifesavers Fan Art, a whole collection of mask-positive pieces, some of which aren’t even made by me.

COVID art of a woman wearing a mask that’s decorated with an image of that same woman wearing a mask, which also has the image on it, and on into infinity
Gwenn Seemel
Masked Up Exponentially
2020
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
10 x 13 inches
(Get prints and other items here.)

This self-portrait is the last piece that I completed in 2020, mostly because I wanted to be able to wear a mask with this surreal image on it, but the political nature of it is clear.

As I learned when I shared Lifesavers Fan Art with my French-speaking audience, the resentment towards mask-wearing as well as the politicization of it is a global problem. It’s to the point where some French friends—socialists who despise 45 and everything he stands for—actually told me that they think Trump is “très intelligent” when it comes to masks. My eyes cannot roll hard enough.

The originals of many of these political pieces are still available. Check out all currently available artworks or skip right to the political stuff.


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