SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- When Barack Obama first took office in 2009, the talents of Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin were prominently displayed at the inauguration. President-elect Donald Trump has not enjoyed the same attention from celebrities or managed to attract star performers to serenade him. Compounding the growing dilemma, Trump’s transition team has also struggled to entice artists to paint the presidential portrait. On Monday, however, they announced the commission of the only dauber willing to capture Trump’s essence in oils: Doña Cecilia Giménez, the mastermind behind the controversial restoration of the Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) fresco in Spain, more popularly known as “Potato Jesus” or “Ecce Mono (Behold the Monkey).”
Ecce Draco (Behold the Monster)Rendering the Official Presidential Portrait has become a tradition in the White House, reaching back to the nation’s first chief executive. Gilbert Stuart began the legacy with his oil painting of George Washington, and the practice has survived into modern times.
As the 45th U.S. president, Donald Trump would also be immortalized on the canvas, sharing in the same distinctive veneration as his predecessors. But the requests distributed to artists by Trump officials received no proposals in return. Even “starving artists” approached on the streets of New York admitted that they would rather starve. The situation mirrors the obstacles Trump’s team has encountered in securing musical guests to provide entertainment at the inauguration. In fact, not a single high school marching band in Washington, D.C., applied to play at the ceremony, even though the past five inaugurations have included at least one school band from the area.
Ultimately, Doña Cecilia Giménez was given the commission for the portrait. One other contender, a caricature specialist named Kyle Clanton, tentatively acquiesced prior to Giménez. Trump’s representatives noted that they chose Giménez because of her experience on projects of public and religious significance. They also said that she was eager to undertake the task and had demonstrated an understanding of the project’s gravity. Clanton, though popular with tourists visiting the Atlantic City Boardwalk and New York’s Coney Island, failed to impress. And he was asking for payment.
“He absolutely had skill,” Kellyanne Conway said, “but the dimensions of his subject were odd, and the setting seemed less serious than it ought to have. Mr. Trump’s head was enormous, for example, while his body was diminutive. His hands looked like those of an infant, which is beyond their already abnormal level of smallness. He was also dressed as Evel Knievel in a sort of silvery, flag-colored jumpsuit and was, for reasons unknown to me, piloting a tiny tractor across a field of poppies.”
Conway acknowledged that the selection of Giménez could be polarizing. Many in Spain have accused her of defiling a historically and spiritually profound work of art. Religious leaders have denounced the restoration for profaning a holy relic. Others have embraced the spud-faced Monkey Christ as a dose of global hilarity.
But Dr. Maler Kunstler, professor of Art History at San Narciso College, believes Giménez is an excellent pick for the commission, despite the ridicule, shame, rebuke and derision she has endured for Potato Jesus.
“Giménez certainly has a distorted view of what humanity’s savior looks like, just as millions of Americans do today,” Kunstler said. “I think hers is an astute appointment. Interestingly, if we study the lines and coloration and proportions of her Potato Jesus composition, it bears striking similarities to Mr. Trump’s natural appearance. Her depiction of Christ as a bulbous, jowly, jaundiced monstrosity may not have captured the accepted features of the Messiah, but her peculiar vision and approach could really capture the essence of Donald Trump. I think the final product will be an amazing and wholly unique addition to the National Archives.”
Though no title has been adopted for the piece, Kunstler cautioned that “Potato Trump” or “Monkey Trump” or “Turd Face” would invite inappropriate comparisons to Ecce Homo. He said he would contact Ms. Giménez with two alternative suggestions: “Tuber Trump” or “Ecce Draco.”
Ted Nugent, Only Performer at Inauguration, Reveals New 21-Gun ConcertoJohn Legend, Adam Lambert and Elton John are just three musical sensations who have refused to appear at the upcoming gala in January. Currently, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock have emerged as the only interested parties. Nugent is slated to headline the event. The iconic conservative rocker revealed that he has composed a number dedicated to Trump’s presidency, which will take the concept of a rock opera and transform it into a firearm-fueled fortissimo.
“When Frank Zappa appeared on the Steve Allen Show in 1963, he played a bicycle,” Nugent explained. “Just banged drumsticks or something on a bike, man. He was a liberal scumbag piece of crap, too, but he proved that you can make music out of anything. I’m going to top Zappa, and I’m going to honor the patriots of this country when I do.”
“The 21-Gun Concerto is exactly what it sounds like -- 21 different types of weapons as instruments,” he added. “You’re gonna have bullets ricocheting off statues of towel heads, splintering wooden dummies of Obama, and blasting through paper targets of women who can’t shut their mouths about Donald Trump trying to pry open their p***ies. It’s gonna be glorious. Gonna sound like the Civil War.”
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