About a year ago, someone said "you should paint Donald Trump" and I said there is no way in hell I would do that. I considered the controversy, the comments and the backlash. This subject is so polarizing in the US and globally. I did not want to be in the middle of it.
Then in March, one of my best collectors, who owns four of my paintings, said he wanted me to paint some paintings for him and one of them was Donald Trump. So I said "yes." I thought, well I won't be making a political statement....it's just business.
This painting took three months. It is in my usual style; oil on canvas with mixed media and is three dimensional using tissue paper to create a sculpture on canvas. It is 36" x 48" and protrudes from the canvas about 5".
I wanted this painting in my typical "Michelle Larsen" style but it was imperative it looked just like Donald Trump, so I was meticulous with his features. Yet, I wanted to make him approachable, kind and happy. After all, the buyer was a fan.
My political views are neutral and I never talk politics to anyone. I am grounded and approach this subject more as an observer than a participant. So, when I was painting the Trump painting, I understood clearly that it would become the subject of extreme political controversy, and I would be praised on one hand and loathed on the other. I've always been a person who didn't want to be singled out and I liked being in the shadows of controversial subjects. But, I am at a crossroads now that the painting is completed. I decided to be all in, and commit to "putting it out there." I put the painting on a Facebook group page and the controversial comments commenced. After almost 300 comments later they had to delete the post because people were fighting among themselves about politics. It just made me laugh.