Brenda Goodman, “Impending” (2018), oil on wood, 80 x 72 in (courtesy of the artist)

So, it’s been 15 months since I wrote my last piece for Drawing in a Time of Fear & Lies. I was then an obsessed newcomer to the world of politics and I have Trump to thank for that. It has only gotten worse. Every day starts with a morning cappuccino with Linda and a recap of the news from the previous evening, then eight hours in the studio listening to MSNBC and CNN, then news again all evening.

Fifteen months ago, Trump was just beginning to embrace his new position of power but now he’s well into the dismantling of our democracy. My emotions are whipped around all day long. Mothers are torn away from their babies at the border. Families living good, productive lives here are sent back to “where they came from” — a place some of them hardly know. The reversal of all that Obama put in place to protect our environment. The destruction of an educational system that was once the best in the world. The attack on our press, which is treated like an enemy. Taking away our rights as he edges closer and closer to a dictatorship. And the lies. The constant lies. So that we can hardly find truth anymore. So many gut-wrenching changes. It’s all so painful and heartbreaking. It leaves me feeling outraged, frustrated, fearful, vulnerable, and wanting to jump out of my skin to rid myself of him.

Impending began with the big black shape at the top of the painting. One day, in a conversation about the president, that shape came to me and I said to myself, “That’s Trump!” Working from my unconscious and a surface full of deep scratch marks, shapes emerged and, by the time it was done, an abstracted figure was draping over a big, grayish ball-shape. All this impending doom is hanging over me (all of us) and over this ball filled with warmth, love and tenderness. I desperately need to protect all that is good from Trump. 

I hope, if again next year I write another piece, this black cloud called Trump will be gone, gone, gone.

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Brenda Goodman

Brenda Goodman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1943. She moved to New York City in 1976 and was included in the Whitney Biennial in 1979. Since 1973, she has had 39 one-person shows and has been included...

23 replies on “This Black Cloud Called Trump”

  1. Trump’s greatest success may be inadvertently shining a light on all the boring artists.

    Not to say all political art is bad or boring. Look at Borderland Art. There is art out there that is inspired by actual experience, as opposed to packaged depression broadcasted by CNN and the like.

    Proper critical analysis is largely being replaced by analysis of only subject. The issues people are living with today predate Trump’s presidency by decades. Trump has certainly amplified these urgent issues. But now all of the “obsessed newcomers” have a cheap excuse for a subject. This is scary, because political critique is being coerced by the funnel that mass media creates. This current distracts artists from more dynamic contributions.

    Impending is an example of the pesky phenomenon when an art work looks worse than it did before the artist spoke.

    Or, if this article is a joke, it is a brilliant critique of Trump Art.

  2. I doubt there are too many readers of this site that think the monster in the WH is not a monster, but there will be some, and the art shown here should not be political for that very reason. I too suffer daily from the Trump-effect, and have to get to grips with murderous feelings as I watch the destruction of civil society, but we can only trust the political cycle & the chance for a reset in November ! Normal cycles of human thought go from one extreme to the other, so we have to hope the move back to enlightenment is about to sprout !!!!

    1. Some of the greatest art in the world was spawned in oppressive political regimes.

      1. If true, There must have been an art renaissance during obozo’s reign of terror.

  3. The man’s an *ss, but this is hardly The Age of Trump (I like to think of it as The Age of Me). Mr. Trump will be gone in six years at the latest, or in two years if you get off your own *ss and vote. The salon demonization of presidents is as farcical as it is transient, and a writer or artist who succumbs to it becomes as irrelevant as the forgotten writer of the play McBIRD.

  4. Another pathetic emotional baby who has no grip on reality! Trump has done more in two years than the last 5 presidents to help this economy and the AMERICAN PEOPLE! He is a pragmatist/realist who understands what needs to be done, does it; he’s a LEADER not a puppet, hypocritical, sloth. I know realism is out of reach for most dems but it’s gotten seriously pathetic to listen to your unending whining! Yeah, MSNBC and CNN… now that’s real reporting…

          1. It’s not a slur, it’s a comment based on yours…. I’m listening with radar! And can read, write, comprehend and analyze. I think reality is really difficult for a lot of emotional people. Critical thinking based on realistic actions and expectations with pros and cons analyzed. You know, like an actual debate with real data and not “just an emotional opinion based on ME, ME. ME”. Why do you have ALL your comments blocked? Hiding from something?

  5. Obama was a stooge of the CIA and the Deep State and all that was wrong with US shady practices worldwide from Clinton to Bush. Trump should be celebrated as a man who had the nerve to fight back in the name of the individual against the fakedom superimposed on the sheeple. Trump is anti-war. Is that not a good thing? Come you liberals loosen up.

  6. It seems to me you need a serious psychological evaluation. Eight hours of cnn and pmsnbc? Every day? LOL.
    That’s enough to make anyone completely delusional.

  7. >then eight hours in the studio listening to MSNBC and CNN, then news again all evening<

    Wow. Perhaps you should turn off the TV. Your world is filled with too much noise. Take care.

    1. I couldn’t agree more!
      Its “self-inflicted” torture she’s under…delusional, if she thinks HER art says anything about Trump. Its painted in the same manner and style = her visual vocabulary just tossed around to make a few more sentences. Apparently, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

  8. Yawn…nothing new here. Yes, Trump’s a jackdonkey and always has been. Yes, he’s trying to be King of the Kakiaks. Yes, he’s a boor. No, it’s not news. And anybody watching as much news as this writer claims is either obsessed with Trump or possibly a little off the rails. Life is meant to be lived, not watched on television. Every true artist knows this.

  9. Wow, Brenda. You really hit the knee jerk nerve of a lot of Russky ‘bot wannabees. Your painting has always had the ability to communicate deeply and directly and stir emotions. Apparently your words do too. I know you as a tough old Irish-bred broad from Detroit, so I know you are prolly chuckling at the shit storm you’ve kicked up.
    This country’s filled with people like you. Its bones are good. Like after the McCarthy thing in the 1950s, it will come out stronger and better. Trump is like a vaccination. We’ll feel bad for a while, but be stronger later.
    Turn down the radio, work the wet edge and keep on keeping on.

  10. My work has changed over the last 2 years… once all light and color and good energy, it now, although TRYING hard to maintain that, is interrupted and overwrought with fear and anger and darkness and war. On the night of the election I Quite Literally had visions of the city of Chicago burning, people of color being unceremoniously shot and other horrors. Though the immediacy and specificity of those images has dulled a bit, the reality of our democracy becoming a fascist future, where Trump and Sessions take their cues, rather than warnings, from the rise of Naziism and Goebbels “genius” for manipulation of people through media.

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