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Rotten underneath

Welp, this month in US politics has been a nightmare, and among the ways I’m dealing with the stress is via architectural metaphor. I know, I know, it IS the most obvious method of self-expression for someone who isn’t an architect.

So! Here’s a thing I made!


This was a quick, get the idea out painting, and as a piece of art I don’t know how I feel about it.

I’m torn between thinking that this painting is too on the nose (the building is dripping blood ffs) and too obscure (does anyone outside the Midwest even know what this building is? Can they tell from context? Does it matter?). Do I need to put his name on the building like it is in real life (maybe)? Aesthetically I like the image better without any words and without Trump’s branding, but Trump’s branding—superficial, gaudy, catchy—is part of the problem, so maybe my personal taste should take a back seat to the concept.

I liked the idea of a long skinny format, but would a more dramatic angle be more interesting? I didn’t think I’d be making angry painting of architectural metaphors when I was in Chicago, so my photo references are limited, would a different angle have been better? Ideally, I’d print this out and and apply some strategic glitter to the top part of the building as no amount of digital catch-lights are going to make it look as tacky as I want. But then what do I do with it? I don’t particularly want it sitting around my house and I doubt I’d be able to sell it easily (if I’m wrong about this TELL ME).

Some version of these questions and considerations goes through my head whenever I make something because one of the ways to describe art is as a series of choices.

I actually do think that architecture is good choice of visual language to use to criticize Trump—he’s supposedly this great builder, after all. He’s always talking about building things (a certain wall), making things, creating things, but what he’s really great at building is the image of Donald Trump. Nothing more.

Celia Yost

Celia Yost is a graphic artist and painter by both training and trade. She's also prone to ill-advised craft projects and yelling about politics.

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  1. I recognized it immediately, but I do live here.

    (And was immediately horrified at the ramifications of such a spewing stream of rotting effluvia so close to the river.)

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