Art in the Age of Trump

Sam Durant, Let's Behave Like Americans, 2007
The Marciano Art Foundation's "Mad World" is a loosely thematic rotation of the collection described as reflecting "the rampant absurdities of contemporary life." Donald Trump is never mentioned or portrayed, yet such works as Sam Durant's Let's Behave Like Americans (2007) seem utterly of the political moment.

The Durant predates Trump as politician and is actually one of the oldest works in the show. It is remarkable how much of "Mad World" was created during the Trump administration. Museum shows usually take years to organized. The Marciano is one of the city's few large institutions committed to showing contemporary art while it's contemporary.
Jim Shaw, The Ties That Bind, 2017
Many of the pieces explore the theme of American values morphed into something monstrous. Jim Shaw's The Ties That Bind (2017) is painted on distressed Masonic backdrop, like the much larger works in the Marciano's 2017 show "Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum." The dark side of childhood figures in a Mike Kelley installation from "Day is Done" and an infernal playset by Diamond Singily. A brick is poised over a child's swing.
Diamond Stingily, E.L.G., 2018
Jill Mulleady, Fear, 2015
Kaws, Activity Trap, 2017-18
Bunny Rogers, Mandy's Piano Solo in Columbine Cafeteria, 2016, in "Bunny Rogers: Inattention"
Elsewhere two video pieces by Bunny Roger revisit the new-normal terrors of high school. Rogers' animations are based on the cafeteria and auditorium of Columbine High, site of the first school shooting of the cable news era.

Ugo Rondinone's The Sun (2017) is on the Marciano's sculpture plaza. It's hard not to see the gilded bronze as Trumpian: Is it a crown of thorns or a time portal to whatever lies beyond?
Ugo Rondonine, The Sun, 2017