Friday, November 25, 2016

Trump’s hand-me-down

One artist who’ll be expecting big things from the Trump Presidency is Ralph Wolfe Cowan, the über US celebrity painter.  Cowan’s work is a mash of 1950s kid’s book illustration and the heroic poses of classic Soviet portraiture. Nowhere is this style more evident than in his 2011 portrait of Steve Wynn, the Picasso-prodding casino mogul, with his then-wife Elaine. Cowan is also court painter to the Trumps. His 1987 painting of the President elect won some notoriety when Donald Trump discovered that the left hand had not been completed and had to fork up another $2,000 on top of the $24,000 commission price to get it done. Cowan has also done a painting of the Trump kids but, so far, no Trump wives. His Trump portrait is currently hanging at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. You can see Cowan talking here about Trump commissioning the painting. The only art Trump has mentioned so far as President Elect is his intention to put a Jacob Epstein bust of Churchill into the Oval Office.

Images: Top, Wolfe Cowan’s portrait of Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine. Middle left, Wolfe’s Trump and right, Donny Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Tiffany. Bottom, Jacob Epstein bust of Churchill with an unidentified admirer