Brace yourself, Williamsburg. A pro-Trump art show, featuring the work of enfant terrible Martin Shkreli, touches down on Saturday, October 8.
“#DaddyWillSaveUs,” billed as “an art show for patriots,” is the brainchild of gay conservative artist Lucian Wintrich, who claims to have been fired from his job as a digital strategist “when I came out … as a Donald Trump supporter.” Wintrich’s erotic photo series, “Twinks4Trump,” featuring shirtless gay men in “Make America Great Again” hats, went viral during this summer’s Republican National Convention.
Along with those images, the show will feature Shkreli, VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes (he left the company in 2006), and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, another rare conservative gay public figure, as participating artists. In an election season that’s been full of Donald Trump-bashing art, in a neighborhood known for its liberal leanings, the exhibition is sure to rile some feathers.
“Who knew that the way to be on the cutting edge of controversy in the art world would be to support Donald Trump?” Yiannopoulos said of the event in a statement. “The LBGT community’s response to Lucian and his fellow artists is embarrassing. How can a movement dedicated to expression, pride, and diversity be so dead set against diversity of opinion?”
Despite the involvement of Shkreli, who spent $2 million last year on the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the exhibition will be crowdfunded. An IndieGoGo campaign, which describes the event as “a really YUGE party with some incredible people,” has currently earned $8,485 of a $22,500 goal.
Meanwhile, Shkreli is still looking for that special someone interested in spending $50,000 for the privilege of punching him in the face in support of an employee who recently lost his child to cancer. Shkreli has offered to match that amount, but an initial bidder backed out of the deal last week, according to UPI.
In a video on IndieGoGo, Wintrich claims that his show “will make art great again” and “sort of troll the art world.” He may have already been successful in the latter goal: the exhibition is being hosted at Boiler | Pierogi, a well-known art gallery in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.
In an email to artnet News, gallery co-owner Joe Amrhein insisted that the gallery, which is mostly closed and is hosting outside events during a transitional fall period, was unaware of the true nature of the show. “Our understanding of it, up to this point, is as a satirical, Andy Kaufman-esque project by the comedian/artist,” he wrote. “This is not something that we would have shown as part of the gallery program and did not intend to support it.”
“Any money that would be made by Pierogi through this exhibition will be given to the Hillary Clinton campaign,” Amrhein added. “A hopefully fitting irony for this narcissist asshole.”
The “#DaddyWillSaveUs” opening will take place at 191 North, 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, October 8, 8:00 p.m., and be on view October 10–13, 2016.
UPDATE: Amrhein sent artnet News a note stating that the exhibition will no longer be held at the Boiler. “He can find somewhere else to show it. I’ve been getting too much contradictory information and realized that he’s been lying to me all this time. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, but that was my fault,” Amrhein wrote. “Down deep I thought a satirical show about Trump was a good idea, and still do, but [Wintrich] really believes in this stuff. It’s all about freedom of speech, according to him and now we’re ‘non believers.’”
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Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.