Political art is nothing new for the man behind Pieces of Trump.
Back in the days of George W. Bush, he channeled his angst into artwork, using rotten food and razor blades in mixed-media displays. But after a creative hiatus that lasted through the Obama administration, the South Beach resident is back at it again with his latest artistic missive: sticking photos of President-elect Donald J. Trump into steaming piles of dog shit.
"This is definitely not fine art," he says. "I don't think it's public art, and I have a hard time calling it 'art.' But it is making an artistic statement."
The artist, whose pseudonym is Allan Adler, works as a graphic designer in Miami Beach. Although it's been years since his last political art project, he decided he needed a way to process his disappointment when Trump declared victory two weeks ago.
"I'm just trying to have fun with it and make light of something that really got me down," he says. "This is the crap he's said and done, and somehow he got elected."
Adler doesn't recall exactly how the idea came to him, but he thinks he might have been subconsciously influenced by Cher, who uses a toilet emoji to refer to Trump in her tweets.
"I think it was just because I thought he was such a piece of crap," Adler says.
He plunged his first Trump toothpick — a photo of the president-elect accompanied by his statement implying that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was on the rag during the first GOP debate — into a crusty turd he found at Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street in South Beach. Adler doesn't have a dog, so each pile of poop is an organically sourced found object.
"I've always been perplexed about people not cleaning up their dog poop," Adler says. "Why not make a political point and also make a point to address the fact that it's all over the place?"
What started out as a subversive personal project has quickly evolved into an imprecise, street-by-street study of Miami Beach demographics.
"I've found what streets the Trump supporters are on because [the poop art] gets picked up," he says, adding he is pleased the street art doubles as a citywide cleanup project. (Meridian and Pennsylvania Avenues, for the record, have never looked better.)
Just as sex columnist Dan Savage helped make "santorum" a dirty word, Adler hopes Pieces of Trump will lead his followers to reimagine
"I've basically replaced 'poop' with the word 'Trump,'" Adler says. "My friends are having a field day with it."
Unlike many artists, Adler invites others to steal his bit. He hopes the nation will come together to stand up against both Trump and unattended animal waste.
"I don't know how many people are going to be wanting to put toothpicks of Trump's head in poop," he says, "but I want to make sure this stays top of mind, that he's held accountable for all the crap he's said and done."
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