On Friday August 3rd 2012, Scottish Artist David McCue brings two controversial paintings to the general release premiere of Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped in the Angelika Film Centre, New York. From Montrose Pictures.
The portraits, “Red Money” and ‘No More Trump Lies’ will be on show for the first time in the U.S. They form part of a series of paintings and artefacts that examine and expose the power of a wealthy minority to shape, influence and ultimately destroy the environment and culture of a small traditional community half way across the world.
Originally shown in Menie on 4 July 2008, as earth-moving equipment was moved in to begin work on Trump’s controversial golf development, the works of art reflect the clashing perspectives of Trump International Golf Links and the local residents at Menie. They explore environmental and related social issues raised by the development: the irreversible destruction of a traditional fishing community and the bulldozing of a site of global scientific significance.
“Red Money“, shows Trump in stark business attire against a background wall of American dollars that are visible through Trump’s face, hands and body. This painting has been chosen as the ‘face’ of Anthony’s award-winning film. It was also featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as the front page of its Arts and Culture section and is currently being used as a full front page on the Apple Itunes film trailer.
‘No More Trump Lies’, in contrast, is a depiction of salmon fisher and quarryman Michael Forbes who denied Trump the land he was eager to purchase for a hotel. The colours in this painting are the antithesis of those in “Red Money” and the emphasis is on greens, blues and earth tones connecting Michael to the heritage of the land and sea he is adamant about protecting. A cautious, suspicious and apprehensive glance to the left of canvas, matched with his casual attire and eccentric hat project dignified defiance and determination. The red collar of his jacket is like the red rag to a bull (Trump) who wants but has been refused what Michael rightfully owns. Michael’s confident, masculine body language suggests he’ll fight to the end.
Notably the controversy has sparked a wide range of artistic responses across many genres, including a ‘crazy golf’ sculpture, also by Artist David McCue, music written and performed by Karine Palwart, poetry, photography and a ‘spitting image’ puppet, rather than the conventional protests of political activism.
The timing of the presentation in New York is significant. The artworks are irrevocably linked to You’ve Been Trumped and bringing the paintings to New York creates an equilibrium between their original setting and the close proximity to Trump Tower. This reinforces the concept that this is not a parochial issue, but a global confrontation between the power of wealth and the value of our culture and heritage.
Donald Trump has just inaugurated his golf course in a flurry of disinterest and umbrellas, with Scotland’s First Minister being notable by his absence. The local communities have held their ground but are still being harassed. Meanwhile, Trump has suspended the major part of the project – the part that would create any benefit for Scotland – citing the potential creation of a wind farm, visible from the golf course, as the reason, and implying that Scotland is incapable of making environmental or political decisions for itself.
David McCue is delighted to have been invited to present his paintings at the film’s premiere and is looking forward to experiencing New Yorkers’ reactions to the film and art works. He will be available for questions and discussion of the paintings at the opening night on 3rd August and selected screenings scheduled till the 9th of August.