Brian Andrew Whiteley’s “Trump Tombstone,” now adorned with NYPD evidence tags, is about to go public again, courtesy of the Christopher Stout Gallery in Brooklyn. With the tombstone sculpture as centerpiece, the new exhibition returns the guerilla artwork to public attention as centerpiece for the exhibition and hosted discussions on political art, its current role and the legal challenges that sometime ensues.
The 500-pound art work Legacy Stone was covertly placed in Central Park around 4 a.m. on Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016). It burst into public awareness courtesy of an early-morning jogger’s Instagram post. The tombstone shaped piece bears the words "Made America Hate Again" and “Trump, Donald J.”. Causing the most stir was the fact the year of Trump’s birth was included but the year of his death was not.
After his identity was discovered after several months, Brooklyn artist Brian Andrew Whiteley was interrogated by the NYPD and Secret Service on his intents, according to the exhibition announcement. The show is the first public viewing of the "Trump Tombstone" since its recent release from New York Police Department custody, according to the gallery.
The solo exhibition and its related programming will be presented at Brooklyn Fire Proof (119 Ingraham Street, Bushwick) by Christopher Stout Gallery. As far as the art goes, the show features the Legacy Stone; a limited edition digital c-print taken in Sheep Meadow, Central Park by art photographer Ventiko (a.k.a. Dexter Dean); and a limited edition grave rubbing print of the actual stone, created in collaboration with master printer James Stroud of Center Street Studio.
Exhibition programming includes artnet News Associate Editor Sarah Cascone leading a Q&A with the artist and his attorney, Ronald L. Kuby, who negotiated the NYPD’s release of the stone and whose firm has defended political art cases since 1995.
Legacy Stone was one of the earliest public artwork installed a la street art and created in response to the 2016 Republican race and Donald J. Trump’s candidacy. Another high-profile installation saw naked Trump sculptures popping up in five cities across the United States in August 2016.
The works were made by the artist collective INDECLINE, reported The Washington Post. Titled The Emperor Has No Balls, each figurative work was identical with near simultaneous installation and designed to link the tradition of installing statutes to memorialize political figures of public importance who function as idols, according to The Verge.
Following an opening reception from 6 – 10 p.m. on Friday, September 23, 2016, "The Legacy Stone" will be on view through October 9, 2016. The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The artist will be onsite during Bushwick Open Studios Weekend (October 1 - 2, 2016).
Brian Andrew Whiteley is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates works incorporating sculpture, video, new media and performance. Large-scale projects are often interactive installations and make use of several forms of media. Whiteley’s art has been exhibited at experimental venues and larger institutions, including The Invisible Dog (New York City); The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY); Spring / Break Art Show (New York City); Zolla Lieberman Gallery (Chicago) and Bakehouse Art Center (Miami). www.brianwhiteleyart.com.
BASIC FACTS: "Brian Andrew Whiteley: Donald Trump Tombstone" is on view from September 23 to October 9, 2016. An Opening Reception takes place on Friday, September 23, 2016 from 6 to 10 p.m. The artist will be onsite during Bushwick Open Studios Weekend (October 1 - 2, 2016).
Christopher Stout Gallery's temporary pop-up space is located at Brooklyn Fire Proof, Ground Floor in the "Temporary Storage Space" Gallery, 119 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn, New York 11237.
The gallery's new permanent location will be announced in October. www.christopherstoutgallery.com.
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