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Illma Gore with her Trump portrait at Maddox Gallery (all photos courtesy the artist)

The artist who gave the world a drawing of a nude Donald Trump with a small penis is facing a potential lawsuit from Trump’s legal team if the painting sells. Illma Gore, whose pencil work is now on view at Maddox Gallery in the UK, received the legal threat three days ago from someone claiming to be from Trump’s camp. She believes it is legitimate as the same caller had reached out to her last month with another legal threat, after she posted the drawing to her Facebook and had endless difficulty accessing her account.

Illma Gore, “Make America Great Again” (2016) (click to enlarge)

The anonymous caller is suing Gore under claims to right of publicity, which gives individuals the right to control how his or her name, image, or likeness is used commercially. Under that law, Trump is entitled to a lump sum of what the painting would earn. It is currently priced at over 1.4 million USD, according to the Guardian. Gore remains unworried and is prepared to fight the case in court if it arrives.

“It’s artwork,” she told Hyperallergic. “I think the lawyers who are preparing the case are all confident because it’s a unique idea, it’s standing alone, it’s not just his face. So we’re all really confident that there won’t be any repercussions.”

Gore has already received a few offers for the drawing, titled “Make America Great Again,” facilitated through Maddox Gallery. The gallery had reached out to her to exhibit the work, which went on display on April 11 and has since drawn hundreds of visitors who have waited in line to see it. While a tattoo parlor in, naturally, Florida is offering to ink the image onto anyone’s body, many galleries in the US had refused to show the work for security reasons: Gore has received over a thousand death threats from strangers through Facebook and through email.

A finished tattoo by Spooks Joya, owner of the Florida-based Pride N Envy Tattoos (photo by Hector Santos) (click to enlarge)

“It’s sad to me that in a country where the First Amendment grants freedom of speech — which I love — I can’t show it here,” Gore said. “I just feel in the UK they’re a little more far removed from Trump so instead of having an immediate reaction to just his face they can actually see what I meant by it and the idea, and they’re able to appreciate it. But it’s still sad.”

Despite the threat, she still intends to sell the work and plans to donate a portion of the profits to the homeless youth charity Safe Place for Youth.

Meanwhile, she is still struggling to properly log into and navigate her Facebook profile. In addition to the restricted access as well as notifications telling her the website is logging all her activities, someone identified only as a third party has also reported copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Gore is certain that this claim, too, arrives from Trump’s legal team.

Hyperallergic has reached out to Facebook but has not received a response.

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Claire Voon

Claire Voon is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Singapore, she grew up near Washington, D.C. and is now based in Chicago. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, VICE,...

54 replies on “The Donald Threatens to Sue Artist Over Her Trump Micropenis Portrait”

  1. I usually don’t say such things, but.. 1.4 million? Someone is hoping to extend their 15 minutes.

    1. It’s supply and demand…and a gallery would not advice the artist to sell at such a high price if it wasn’t realistic. Once a gallery gets a hold of a piece of art the artist is not in full control, unless the artist chooses to not show or sell at all. So fuck off

      1. It could be her/the gallery raising the price to counter set the suit against her. Trump does indeed bully, and its definitely worked in the past. The suit could last years dragging the girl into courts and it’s kind of interesting to see how he manipulates the court system against someone. Just because she is clearly justified doesn’t mean she will come out on top of this.

  2. Every artist needs to create a Trump Micropenis work. Make it as common as a landscape or still life. What a micro dick he is.

  3. What you’re surprised how much the drawing costs? If someone wants it they will put a price on it. Art is pretentious, duh.

      1. Seriously! Art IS pretentious. I have an education, thanks. Another, better artist.

  4. Trump’s legal team can truly represent the machismo of the majority of American voters on this one for sure! That calling someone micro-penis is like diametrically-akin to calling someone “Hitler” in the micro-thwarted Western self-consciousness (whatever that means, right?).

  5. The image isn’t exactly photorealistic & trumps name isn’t mentioned in the title…doubt there’s any way to litigate. Apparently the threat of litigation is enough to bully many into submission. Hope she stands her ground and gets every penny of whatever that gallery is asking for it…she may actually get 30% of the asking price after gallery cut & taxes.

  6. This is an artist rendering of a public figure. It’s no different than what political cartoonists do for news agencies. Personally, I believe it’s highly over priced, but that’s me.

    Quite honestly, I’d be looking for different attorneys, because that group of idiots chose the wrong grounds to sue. This does not belong under DMCA. The lawsuit is frivolous and doomed to be defeated if pursued.

  7. I guess her problem is she is selling prints/copies of it. It is not just “artwork” – a one-shot single painting, but she is trying to increase her profits by selling the prints for $25-$50.
    → P.S. Surprised how small the painting is.

    Anonymous caller? And what lawsuit???? Most likely just more PR for her one minute left in her 15 minutes of fame.

    1. I’d say that Mr. Obama would laugh, as he does a lot. He is one of our greatest Presidents; under fire for how many years from bigots and other hate mongers like yourself? He certaintly deserves a golden shower for all he has done.

        1. Born and raised a liberal independent so yeah I do know what freedom of speech and freedom of thinking is all about. That is why you and I are having this exchange. I find it easy to interpret your comment as divisive and since I do have that freedom of expression I get to comment on what you wrote. Perhaps I misinterpret but you seem on attack mode. I am tired of small minded attacks and that is how I read what you wrote. If you want to explain I will listen.

      1. Well Susie, I see you have no idea what a ” golden shower” is ? in case you did not know, it is when someone pisses on you. educate yourself before you comment on something you know nothing about. the GOP has been doing this to President Obama since he was elected, metaphorically.

  8. If we all stand strong, together we can body-shame him into being a reasonable person.

  9. The fingers (the OTHER most important part of Trumps diminutive appendages) are drawn much too large.

    1. Maybe his big fingers is a way for his body trying to make up for his gross many inadequacys; suggesting he could be more creative in a loving way?Oh right, we can only come from what we know.

  10. The artist would stand a better chance of collecting that $14M if she charged Trump by the half-inch for an enlargement modification ‘to scale.’ Like the way the Donald sells his condos.

  11. I think the piece of art is great… but that definitely took some commitment to get that as a tattoo! lol

  12. Well since The Donald was the one who brought up his anatomical qualifications, he was the one who put it out to the public first on live TV and therefore, it is fair game ! you lose, Donald.

    1. Well, Trump just needs to whip, it, out, to stop all speculation, just like his tax returns, add in his bone foot spur X-rays that kept him from being considerated in the Vietnam era draft. Maybe Trump could sue the military school he went to grades 8-12 too, if they come forward and say such a condition would disqualify someone from a military school. I would think some PE was required? Seems a doctor’s note when reporting to the daft was all that was needed. Interesting it, no news source has investigated that, finding all classmates, roommate, very queer.
      Ah, the poor fights the wars in the US. Bush, Chaney, who had better things to do….Trump.

  13. Admire American Democracy and freedom of speech and expression. As a Indian from the city of Mumbai which is also a Democratic Country i shudder to think of the repercussions if such a painting or caricature was done on a Indian politician let alone a Prime Ministerial candidate.There would be riots and India could come to a standstill. Don’t forget that Mr Donald Trump is no ordinary American politician but a possible future President .

    1. Welll….he’s also a former reality t.v. star with no self-respect or respect for others sooo…I’m just assuming that your country has real politicians as this guy is just a mockery of America in general. “America the country that was….” sigh….

  14. I would guess that Mr. Trump is so upset because its accurate in its size.Priceless….

  15. She should do it on black velvet. It would be just as popular as those dogs playing poker and Elvis.

  16. If Donald Trump had any dignity, grace or decorum he would have simply left it the hell alone. But, because he’s an ignorant, testosterone-filled moron, he’s pursuing a woman who portrayed his micropenis artistically. If he had any brains, he’d STFU. I’d love to see the court battle, where Donald Trump was forced to provide publicly view-able crotch shots to prove defamation LOL

  17. …And now I read that she has been targeted and beaten! This is all too much….!!! What have we come to???

  18. Imagine if one was painted of Hillary all saggy and grotesque . oh the uproar .

  19. The time has come for Trump to bare all so this issue could be settled once and for all. I will vote for or against him based on the evidence. Isn’t that how his beauty pageants are decided?

  20. “THE DONALD” should have paintings like this hanging all over the country. He thinks with ath nub all the time, and makes no bones about how he really feels about women.

  21. “I was in the pool!”, little hands and fingers waving, flapping, “I was in the pool!”, “The water was cold, there was shrinkage, like a frightened turtle!”……… Trump

    Word on the street, its that, big. It’s what I heard somewhere.

    What kind of moron is Trump.

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