Visual Arts

Trump Protest Art Project Dropped from Miami Art Week fair

The Trump protest bus in Miami Beach just before the election
The Trump protest bus in Miami Beach just before the election Twitter

An anti-Trump protest art project has been disinvited from a Miami Art Week fair, according to Hyperallergic.com, an art news website.

A Trump campaign bus re-purposed by artists David Gleeson and Mary Mihelic, slated to be displayed at the Red Dot Art Fair, one of the many satellite events that take place during Art Basel Miami Beach in the first week of December, is no longer welcome.

Red Dot’s owner told the artists the day after the election that he was no longer going to show their project. Mihelic and Gleeson, of leftist art collective T.Rutt, had spent the last year driving the bus, which they bought on Craigslist, to Republican rallies. The Miami display was also to have included an American flag with controversial Trump phrases like "Grab them by the p----."

Eric Smith, president and CEO of Ohio-based Redwood Media Group, which owns several art fairs and bought Red Dot earlier this year, emailed Hyperallergic that “In light of the surprising results [of the election], I’ve decided to pass on both the bus display and flag." Smith insisted that it was purely a business decision.

The artists told Hyperallergic they believe the decision was made out of fear of political consequences for showing art critical of the president-elect. They have been looking for a new venue for the project, but Mihelic said that the Pérez Art Museum Miami told them the work was “too controversial” and that Scope Miami Beach stopped responding to queries after learning about the flag artwork.

“After all this, we do not think the top-tier of the art world will show anti-Trump protest artwork inside the USA under the Trump administration,” Mihelic told Hyperallergic. “If the initial reception of our anti-Trump artwork in Miami is any indication, it seems unlikely that the top-tier galleries, dealers, and fairs will take that risk under Trump.”

Read the full story here: After Election, Miami Fair Flip-Flops on Hosting Anti-Trump Art Project

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