Does this image offend you? If so, you're not alone. This NSFW rendering of Donald Trump with just a black bar over his manhood is the subject of a social media shit storm that resulted in the artist losing access to her Facebook account.
Illma Gore, a Los Angeles-based feminist artist, was inspired to create this painting while reading about the presidential candidate. She thought of the slogan, "You can be a massive prick, despite what is in your pants," and then used pastels to create imagery to represent her feelings. In the uncensored version, Trump is adorned with a micro-penis, also known in slang terms as a "baby dick."
Not everyone is psyched about Trump's junk being all up in their feed, however. Shortly after she posted the painting on February 10, Facebook notified her that her account was being suspended temporarily. The site has since been intermittently blocking her for three day-periods for reposting the image. Why keep posting an image that is certain to get you banned? "I am doing it to rebuke censorship," she said.
Monday afternoon, Facebook notified Gore that she temporarily lost her Facebook privileges again. The notice said the ban would last for 13 hours, but she's been locked out for three days and doesn't know when Facebook will renew her privileges.
Facebook's terms of service prohibit content that is "pornographic" or "contains nudity." Since the Trump image is carefully censored, Gore asked Facebook for clarification about its policies but has not received a response.
"I have not heard from Facebook, as of yet, I have reached out in regards to my freedom of speech. At this point I am randomly being banned over additional posts about my art work." Gore said.
The image has not been banned from Twitter, Tumblr, or the Facebook-owned Instagram.
EBay had similar concerns about the image and tried to block Gore from selling the original rendering (uncensored, with full frontal nudity) on the site, but eventually backed down, agreeing that it falls under the "art" category which does allow nudity. The eBay auction is at $1,300.00 as of this writing. Gore said she will donate a portion of the proceeds to homeless teens at a charity organization called Safe Place for Youth.
The continued controversy over the painting grabbed the attention of independent Bernie Sanders event organizers, who invited Gore to attend a VIP debate watching party with her painting Thursday at The Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She agreed to attend and will be displaying her original work in the lobby of the Theatre at the Ace Hotel during the event.
How is our potential President and Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump handling the hoopla? Gore says someone who identified as a member of Trump's legal team reached out by phone and told her to take the painting down or face legal action.
In response Gore made a free download of the image available for the public on her website www.illmagore.com.