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Beirut is no stranger to absurd sightings and military artillery, but recently, an inflatable tank shaped to resemble Donald Trump’s face captured everyone’s attention in the Lebanese capital and on social media. On Monday night, the cryptic and anonymous Syrian artist SAINT HOAX published a video of the roaming tank on his Facebook and Instagram pages, its elongated nose shaped into a cannon.
Alluding to the American president’s controversial foreign policies, the self-proclaimed “POPlitically incorrect” artist provokes simultaneous amusement and terror as the mobile sculpture marches forward on its path of destruction. Just like the farcical leader of the United States, the hoax is dangerously deceptive in its artificiality — a striking flashback to memories of invasions and civil wars.
“I think of my posts on Instagram as contemporary editorial cartoons using a new medium,” the artist (whose own account is followed by 732,000 users) explained to Hyperallergic in an email.
The title of the piece, “MonuMental,” shares a name with an accompanying exhibition of pop portrait paintings, referring to the dubious psychological state of some of our leaders. The opening will be this week at the landmark Egg, an abandoned rounded bunker in the downtown Beirut area.
“It’s a play on word emphasizing the mental state of monumental figures,” says the artist. “When someone’s fame becomes so exponential, it creates a clash between their self-perception, versus the public’s. My upcoming show, MonuMental is an iconographic study of the pathos lurking beneath the immaculate facades of idols. The exaggerated dimensions of the work are an immediate reflection of the icons’ magnified personas versus the vulnerability of the souls behind them. It fascinates me how vulnerable a public person is, when subjected to people’s aspirations and expectations.”
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.