Photo credit: Rita Duffy

Irish government spent taxpayer money on explicit artwork of Donald Trump

The Irish government spent an undisclosed sum of taxpayer money on a series of explicit nude art pieces of Donald Trump, which will reportedly soon be added to the National Collection (censored bars added by Gript for social media community guidelines reasons).

The piece, entitled “The Emperor Has No Clothes”, was created by Cavan artist Rita Duffy in 2020, who said she was inspired to create the work in response to former US President Donald Trump’s daily press briefings at the start of the covid-19 pandemic last year.

It is one of 422 art pieces by 70 artists which was purchased using €1 million in taxpayer funds, which were granted to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery by Green Party Minister for Culture and Arts, Catherine Martin TD.

“The drawings began as a response to President Trump’s daily briefings at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said artist Rita Duffy.

“I self isolated in Dublin, staying close to my drawing board and working through the virus…I watched Trump’s daily briefings in disbelief, ‘a reoccurring horror show in which all the neuroses that haunt American subconscious dance naked on live TV’.

“Early one morning, I began this series of intense graphic drawings. The ’emperor has no clothes’ and minute Lilliputian figures scramble in the ‘Tiger King’ world that I witnessed unravelling. The virus seeks to ‘proliferate not profit, and has brought the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt.’

“I took part in one of the ‘Rethinking Democracy’ online discussions organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub in partnership with the Society of Fellows & Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in response to Covid-19. I listened intently to Melody Barnes speaking with passionate intelligence, she was first person [sic] I heard, to mention the name ‘George Floyd’. I returned to the drawings and two days later the USA exploded onto our TV screens.”

“I continue drawing in the sincere belief that at times such as this, art is the only thing strong enough to keep us from destroying ourselves,” she added.

“This has also been a challenging year for all our institutions, but it has also offered an opportunity to think about museums and what they mean to people and how we share those precious artworks that form part of our National Collections,” said Minister Catherine Martin.

“I look forward to see how IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery will share these new additions nationally and internationally where they can be widely viewed by the public and act as a reservoir for future enjoyment, inspiration and research.”

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