In a sly nod to a popular episode from “The Sopranos,” the HBO series about mobsters, the new (Sept. 3) New Yorker cover shows President Donald Trump fleeing a pack of hounds through the woods. The art, by Barry Blitt, is called “Closing In.”
The inspiration for the art was the Season 5 finale of “The Sopranos” in which New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) flees from the backyard of a mob boss as FBI agents suddenly arrive. Soprano runs through the woods (and at one point is attacked by a pet dog) and makes it safely back to his home, ashen-faced and breathing heavily.
It’s clearly a comment on Trump’s close call after his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law (and implicating Trump), and the guilty verdicts against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort on eight felonies, including tax and bank fraud.
Adam Davidson writes in “Swamp Chronicles” in The New Yorker that the president is now “formally implicated in a criminal conspiracy to mislead the American public in order to influence an election. Were he not president, Donald Trump himself would almost certainly be facing charges.”
Soprano, incidentally, is not named in the indictment that nabs the mob boss in the HBO series, even though Soprano is at the center of the crime operation in the series.
Here’s the Tony Soprano episode that inspired Blitt: