Jim Carrey's Presidential Portrait of Trump Belongs in the Smithsonian
"You Scream. I Scream. Will We Ever Stop Screaming?" is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Photo of Carrey by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images; portrait of Trump by Jim Carrey via Twitter
Jim Carrey, actor and aspiring political cartoonist, just added another piece to his collection. It’s arguably his best work yet, a semi-nude study of President Trump enjoying what appears to be two scoops of chocolate ice cream. "You Scream. I Scream. Will We Ever Stop Screaming?" (2018) is a marvel of form, honest expression, and craftsmanship, a priceless piece of modern art. In short, it belongs in the goddamn Smithsonian.
And that's exactly the home the artiste envisioned for it, petitioning the National Portrait Gallery to make the masterwork Trump's official presidential portrait. And rightfully so: Just looking at the texture of Trump's fuzzy blue robe, the tension in his jaw, the wormlike squiggles of his chest hair, it's only natural to envisage the piece hanging next to Kehinde Wiley's portrait of Barack Obama, or Amy Sherald's of Michelle. Factor in how gingerly Trump's pointer finger fondles his inexplicably oblong, shrimp-colored nipple—the pièce de résistance—and Carrey's work is basically a shoe-in.
Some might argue that Carrey's career is too short-lived for him to deserve the honor of crafting the president's official portrait, a fair criticism. But to that I say: Look how he's evolved! He's come so far from his humble, amateur beginnings, when you couldn't even recognize who the hell he was drawing.
Or even if you could, they looked like neanderthals.
So, too, has he grown more subtle—instead of flat-out depicting the president boning a starlet, or portraying Trump's adult sons being gored by an elephant, he's toned his lewdness down, opting for a simple, unadorned nip in lieu of something much more lascivious.
Gaze once more at Trump's blue eyes, half-closed and watery with pleasure, the weight of his mysterious hair helmet, the unorthodox, vivid pallet with which Carrey rendered him. Take in the bold strokes of what looks like hot pink and orange highlighter, the warm red slug of the tongue, the attention to detail in the shadow cast by the ice cream bowl.
It's glorious. It's innovative. It's perfect. It is, in a word, art. If that thing doesn't belong in the Smithsonian, I don't know what does.
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Drew Schwartz moonlights as VICE's art critic. Follow him on Twitter.
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