March 15, 2016

Oh! This portrait of Donald Trump!

It hangs in his Mar-a-Lago estate:



I cut that to show only the portrait, so go here to see it in its ornate frame and the wood-paneled setting. It was photographed at an angle (visible at the top left of my crop), so there's some distortion not attributable to the artist. But how rich do you need to be to hire an artist that can paint hands? Ah, but who's going to look at the hand — other than me — when the head is glowing and ascending to the heavens? Or are you looking at the stretched folds of fabric straining over the crotch?

The photo of the portrait goes with a NYT article titled "A King in His Castle: How Donald Trump Lives, From His Longtime Butler." About the painting, the butler, Anthony Senecal, said: "I’ve been in other homes in Palm Beach — same exact painting. Just a different head."

Also from the article, how Trump likes his steak: "It would rock on the plate, it was so well done." And information that explains a lot: "Mr. Trump insists — despite the hair salon on the premises — on doing his own hair."

And there's the 20,000-square-foot Donald J. Trump Ballroom, where, in 2005, Trump married Melania (whom Senecal "described as exceptionally compassionate"). Hillary Clinton attended the wedding and Senecal "offered a profane description for Mrs. Clinton." The ballroom was later the scene for the Oprah Winfrey party for Maya Angelou's 80th birthday. Senecal says it was a "religious ceremony with the hooting and the hollering" and "Mr. Trump was right on into it. It was so great. He was clapping."

IN THE COMMENTS: Ignorance is Bliss said, "That is certainly a more inspiring picture of him than this one":



MORE IN THE COMMENTS: Brando says:
That portrait supports my theory that he's a poor man's idea of what he would be like if he were rich. A big majestic portrait of himself! Maybe Trump has a secret sense of humor about this — it seems like a gag I'd do if I were rich.
Exactly. It looked that way to me too. The question is whether he's having fun with it and making it fun for other people or whether he's really serious, psychologically needy, and oppressing other people. If it were the latter, the NYT would have told us.
I wonder about the "profane" description of Hillary — what did she do when she arrived? Was she nasty to the help? I've heard she could be very cold and mean to secret service agents.
Well, that's another thing the NYT didn't tell us. Here, we know the NYT had information, and we can see that it was suppressed. What was it?

101 comments:

Anglelyne said...

I like the cod-Baroque heavenly light streaming in the background.

"I’ve been in other homes in Palm Beach — same exact painting. Just a different head."

Looks like a Hollywood set portrait of the rich WASP douchebag character.

Tank said...

My friends were at a wedding there just this year, and Trump stopped in to see that everything was OK, and stayed to take pictures with anyone who asked. I called BS, and my friend pulled out her phone and showed me the picture of her and Trump. She said he could not have been nicer. She characterized herself as reluctantly very impressed.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

That is certainly a more inspiring picture of him than this one.

Big Mike said...

That was Trump? I thought it was Dirk Benedict back in his A Team days.

Chuck said...

I am guessing that in addition to Donald Trump, there are other fabulously wealthy celebrities who are very friendly with fans, supporters and consumers.

Oprah Winfrey (mentioned in this story); Alec Baldwin; Stephen Colbert; Sean Penn; Susan Sarandon; Jane Fonda; Barbra Streisand; Kanye West; Ellen DeGeneres.

And not one of them has any business being President of the United States.

YoungHegelian said...

The ballroom was later the scene for the Oprah Winfrey party for Maya Angelou's 80th birthday. Senecal says it was a "religious ceremony with the hooting and the hollering" and "Mr. Trump was right on into it. It was so great. He was clapping."

I'm sure the incident was marred by Trump not inviting Winfrey & Angelou to his cross-burning party on the beach later on that week.

chickelit said...

Anglelyne wrote: Looks like a Hollywood set portrait of the rich WASP douchebag character.

Agree. WASP is pejorative term wIhaven't heard in politics for a while. It's exactly what Trump is and is one reason people loathe him. He's a WASP -- a stinging WASP with the mouth of an Ali.

rehajm said...

camp- adj.

deliberately exaggerated and theatrical in style, typically for humorous effect.

banality, mediocrity, artifice, ostentation, etc. so extreme as to amuse or have a sophisticated appeal.

tim in vermont said...

You think he goes over to Ruth Crist with his buddy Rush and waits for an hour for them to cook his 4 inch thick filet through and through? That man has no class. It just makes me like him more.

tim in vermont said...

He's like a character out of Caddyshack.

Gusty Winds said...

Look at that HUUUUGEEE left hand!

tim in vermont said...

And not one of them has any business being President of the United State

Even a banjo has five strings.

sydney said...

But how rich do you need to be to hire an artist that can paint hands?

Judging by the portraits I've seen of the Royal Family, I'm guessing there's not enough money to buy a good portraitist. They simply don't exist.

Robert Cook said...

That's a terrible painting!

Bob Ellison said...

I had that same v-neck sweater when I was eight years old. They sold them at JC Penney.

Brando said...

I wonder about the "profane" description of Hillary--what did she do when she arrived? Was she nasty to the help? I've heard she could be very cold and mean to secret service agents.

I don't really understand cooking steak to "well done". I mean, if you don't trust the quality of the steak, that's a safe option, but I can't imagine someone like Trump eating low-rate cuts of steak. Cooking it that much takes all the flavor out.

That portrait supports my theory that he's a poor man's idea of what he would be like if he were rich. A big majestic portrait of himself! Maybe Trump has a secret sense of humor about this--it seems like a gag I'd do if I were rich. It would have been funnier though if he had the hands done to cartoonishly massive size.

Laslo Spatula said...

Oprah Winfrey, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Colbert, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Kanye West. Ellen DeGeneres: all of whom have Shit in the Caviar in one way or another.

I am keeping a list.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

The left hand looks like a Prosthetic.

I would have went with a Hook.

Because that would be BadAss.

I am Laslo.

dmoelling said...

A portrait of himself, not a family portrait with wife and kids? And cheap at that with a completely unnatural pose! Didn't I see this in a Mel Brooks movie? (or any number of other comedies about rich posers)?

traditionalguy said...

Trump sounds like a generous man who enjoys showing hospitality and loves people.

Who would have thought such as man could generate this weekend's 72 hours of continuous hate just by refusing to partake of bribes and exposing the corrupt system of living off insider payoffs taken by all of the rest of the politicians like heroin taken by addicts.

Ann Althouse said...

"WASP is pejorative term I haven't heard in politics for a while."

One time I got a student evaluation that called me "waspish." I sort of wanted to think I was experiencing a racial slur, but I had to admit that "waspish" is a regular adjective, meaning "Quick to resent any trifling injury or affront; irascible, petulantly spiteful."

Lord knows what I said to deserve that... although with decades of distance, I'm thinking a waspish teacher could be great fun, especially if the anger were directed at the courts and the facts of the case and not to the students.

rehajm said...

That portrait supports my theory that he's a poor man's idea of what he would be like if he were rich.

Donald Trump is like what a hobo imagines a rich man to be

Ann Althouse said...

"Trump sounds like a generous man who enjoys showing hospitality and loves people."

Sometimes he likes to go out in the yard and find laborers to hand $100 bills. They love that.

David said...

WASP is a pejorative? It seems I've been insulted all these years.

Laslo Spatula said...

Maybe he could hire the artist from this previous Althouse post.

I am Laslo.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "That's a terrible painting!"

Everyone's a critic.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't really understand cooking steak to "well done". I mean, if you don't trust the quality of the steak, that's a safe option, but I can't imagine someone like Trump eating low-rate cuts of steak. Cooking it that much takes all the flavor out."

Puts in some tasty charred flavor though. Some people like that. And tough is just another texture. Maybe the meat is so tender its still tender when well done. But some people enjoy chewing. He seems to have some sturdy chompers.

Drago said...

Brando: "I don't really understand cooking steak to "well done"."

I suggest you re-watch "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" again for greater insight.

rehajm said...

Cooking it that much takes all the flavor out."

Boston Chefs on Customers Who Order Steak Well Done.

I like the guy who sees it as his challenge to still make it right.

Drago said...

I don't see how this painting "works" sans a First Lord of the Admiralty bicorn.

Bob Boyd said...

It looks like the cover of a romance novel about a teaching pro at tennis club.

'Clay Court Savage #24, Storm of Balls'

Laslo Spatula said...

Here it is. Or was. Unfortunately it is sold out.

I am Laslo.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't really understand cooking steak to "well done". I mean, if you don't trust the quality of the steak, that's a safe option, but I can't imagine someone like Trump eating low-rate cuts of steak. Cooking it that much takes all the flavor out."

Puts in some tasty charred flavor though. Some people like that. And tough is just another texture. Maybe the meat is so tender its still tender when well done. But some people enjoy chewing. He seems to have some sturdy chompers.


Tank has friends who say, "leave it on the BBQ until it's a hockey puck."

Don't know how they eat that.

tim in vermont said...

Sometimes he likes to go out in the yard and find laborers to hand $100 bills. They love that

The New York Times did an interview with Rush at a restaurant and "ethics" required the paper to pick up the tab. The writer later found out that by not letting Rush pay, he stiffed the staff out of a five grand tip. "No wonder they were so quick to light his cigars!"

Beaumont said...

This is anectdotal, but some of the economically struggling folks I know who support Trump have told me they will vote for him because they believe he will give them some of his money.

Brando said...

"Puts in some tasty charred flavor though. Some people like that. And tough is just another texture. Maybe the meat is so tender its still tender when well done. But some people enjoy chewing. He seems to have some sturdy chompers."

Well, I do like fish blackened so I guess it's a matter of personal taste.

"I suggest you re-watch "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" again for greater insight."

It's been a while since I saw that film but don't remember that part.

"Tank has friends who say, "leave it on the BBQ until it's a hockey puck."

On the plus side, it's easier for the person working the grill. Generally, I prefer medium rare for most steak and rare if I'm at a fancy place that specializes in it. For hamburger, medium well.

traditionalguy said...

Many religious folks that order steaks traditionally order them well done. The only dietary law (Kosher Rules) Christians were left under, since Peter and Paul finally pried the door open for non-Jews to enter the all Jewish Jesus Sect was a prohibition of eating meat of animals sacrificed to idol gods "with the blood in it. "

Is Trump Jewish? His daughter converted to the Jewish group that keeps Kosher, and he would not want to offend her if all it took was giving up bleeding meat.

CStanley said...

That portrait supports my theory that he's a poor man's idea of what he would be like if he were rich. A big majestic portrait of himself! Maybe Trump has a secret sense of humor about this — it seems like a gag I'd do if I were rich. Exactly. It looked that way to me too. The question is whether he's having fun with it and making it fun for other people or whether he's really serious, psychologically needy, and oppressing other people. If it were the latter, the NYT would have told us.

This blog seems to have a fetish for performance art. Occam's razor says that Trump is vain and has gaudy taste. It's not disqualifying, but there's no point in trying to make it into something you find endearing either.

tim in vermont said...

This is anectdotal, but some of the economically struggling folks I know who support Trump have told me they will vote for him because they believe he will give them some of his money.

You mean like "Obama's stash"? It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are in people's stories about other people.

traditionalguy said...

This Beautiful picture could be a preview for the new currency called the Drumpf 100 dollar note.

How many elections did Ben Franklin ever win? And why put Poor Richard's picture on money?

YoungHegelian said...

Well, that's another thing the NYT didn't tell us. Here, we know the NYT had information, and we can see that it was suppressed. What was it?

What, that Hillary is a bitch?

Even NYTs readers know that everyone who comes into contact with Hillary thinks she's a bitch. Matter of fact, the only person I've ever seen compliment Hillary "in public" was Bill O'Reilly who called her "gracious". You should have seen the look on the other Fox talking head when he said that, a look as in, "In a pig's eye!".

For many of her supporters, "bitch" is a feature, not a bug.

damikesc said...

Having worked at a restaurant, well done is a nightmare. The customer never feels it's done enough. I've had to actually temp the steak in front of them then advise if you want it burnt, do thwt yourself.

Char Char Binks said...

Is anybody a WASP? Does anyone call himself that, or cop to it?

@Ann

At least you weren't called "niggardly".

lemondog said...

re: portrait, at least his mouth is shut.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
That's a terrible painting!

3/15/16, 8:15 AM
--------------------------

I'll have you know ,sir, that the artist has also done many of the world renown Elvis-on-velvet paintings

Sebastian said...

Was the painter Jean Baudrillard?

uffda said...

The "Biff" sweater - worn by every spolied rich college boy who loses the girl to to the Dobie Gillis everyman.

ellamentary said...

Good one, Sebastian. "The simulacrum is true." If there had been a blue guitar in the painting, I'd have put money on Deleuze.

Jim said...

If Trump were Obama he could get an AP photographer to take a picture of him with a halo and run it in national publications.

ellamentary said...

CStanley, I concur with your comment: "Occam's razor says that Trump is vain and has gaudy taste." If you look at the hotels and, once upon a time, the casinos, his gaudy taste is apparently. I don't find it endearing, either. He is indeed a vulgarian, whether or not he is short-fingered. His taste certainly seems more like "new money" than inherited wealth, but even "new money" is not usually so tacky.

Writ Small said...

This blog seems to have a fetish, for performance art. Occam's razor says that Trump is vain and has gaudy taste.

Althouse seems rather invested in Trump for whatever reason. This is despite (because of?) her spouse and son taking a dim view of the man. Her posts these days remind me of the movie "Being There."

I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.

The lawyer's mind is quick to assemble rationalizations for actions with a much simpler explanation.

I also wonder if Rush Limbaugh has contributed to people's inability to see Trump for what he is. After all, Rush spent years cultivating his over-the-top arrogance shtick, which I always found amusing and endearing. That repetition may have created a positive association with what is really a psychological warning sign.

madAsHell said...

Elvis-on-velvet paintings

Exactly!!

Beaumont said...

"You mean like "Obama's stash"? It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are in people's stories about other people."

Are you saying that many of Trump's supporters are like Obama supporters, Stupid?

tim in vermont said...

his Beautiful picture could be a preview for the new currency called the Drumpf 100 dollar note.

Aww look, we have a sighting of a spewing of a John Oliver talking point! Why not call him Colonel Drumpf! Why not go full let's call him a nazi!

Gabriel said...

@traditionalguy:eating meat of animals sacrificed to idol gods "with the blood in it. "

Even a raw steak does not have any blood in it.

And kosher laws for meat are so much stricter than just not leaving blood in the animal. The Jews and Muslims I know, who keep to their dietary laws, just don't eat meat at all unless they know how it was killed.

So this justification is pretty underwhelming.

I assume that if Trump eats steak well-done, probably he likes it that way; some people do.

tim in vermont said...

Are you saying that many of Trump's supporters are like Obama supporters, Stupid

I think you should always be on the lookout for irony when reading my comments.

Paul said...

"I also wonder if Rush Limbaugh has contributed to people's inability to see Trump for what he is."

Or perhaps your snobbery prevents you from seeing aspects of what he really is?

I have postulated since the beginning that most of the Trump hate is class based. The annointed sneering down their noses at the vulgar, declasse rich man who is culturally "Outer Burroughs".

AReasonableMan said...

I have known other people with paintings in this style. I have a question for Miss Manners, what the hell are you supposed to say when confronted with one of these monstrosities.

Bob Boyd said...

"just don't eat meat at all unless they know how it was killed."

A rule which doesn't necessarily exclude roadkill.

Beaumont said...

I think you should always be on the lookout for irony when reading my comments.

Maybe there is greater overlap in Trump and Obama supporters than either would want to admit out loud.

traditionalguy said...

Eating kosher ribeyes on the rib bone well done is the food of the Gods, especially the fat parts.

But steak sushi seems a waste of good meat.

EDH said...

Didn't the media use this line of attack on Ben Carson with a copy of the portrait of himself hanging in his foyer?

Paul said...

"Maybe there is greater overlap in Trump and Obama supporters than either would want to admit out loud."

Maybe, but I doubt it. I know a lot of Trump supporters and they all loath Obama. In fact I'd suggest Trump is the antithesis of Obama and a natural reaction to his presidency.

EDH said...

Bill Maher mocks portrait in Ben Carson’s home of candidate posing with ‘Jesus in a bathrobe’.

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/bill-maher-mocks-portrait-in-ben-carsons-home-of-candidate-posing-with-jesus-in-a-bathrobe/

Fen said...

Althouse student eval: "Quick to resent any trifling injury or affront; irascible, petulantly spiteful." ...Lord knows what I said to deserve that

Maybe you refused to change your policy of only censoring certain racial slurs because "I don't want to give you the satisfaction".

Or maybe you falsely accused him of racism when he pressed you on it.

Or maybe you front-paged a hit piece on him, sliming him as a homophobe, simply because he mentioned he was tired of all the gay-related posts here.

Could be any number of things. Petulant? Spiteful? Surely not.

Mac McConnell said...

The portrait is Trump's "Jay Gatsby" moment, his longing to be accepted by old money yankee WASP. Problem is that yankee old money WASPs don't hang vanity portraits of themselves in tennis whites, old money yankee WASPs hang portraits of their ancestors who date back one hundred years.

Fernandinande said...

I'd prefer a black velvet painting of him standing between Jesus and Elvis.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paul,

who is culturally "Outer Burroughs"

Was Outer Burroughs related to William or Edgar Rice?

Oh, boroughs, as in the Bronx, Staten Island, etc.

I know, goddamn autocorrect. It gets us all, it does.

Paul said...

YoungHegelian, you got me. Fair and square. I can't spell for shirt.

traditionalguy said...

Poor Trump, he can't get no respect.

The proud guy can't humble himself to take HUGE BRIBES offered to him in good faith by Foreign Enemy Powers and Internet Trillionaires who just want a World for sale to the highest bidder. What will they have to do to him next.

They will have to send a mission up river to terminate the Trump Apocalypse.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paul,

I can't spell for shirt.

Very good! Thanks for the chuckle.

Drago said...

Brando: "It's been a while since I saw that film but don't remember that part"

"Burn me a steak"

Drago said...

AReasonableMan: "I have known other people with paintings in this style. I have a question for Miss Manners, what the hell are you supposed to say when confronted with one of these monstrosities"

You say "That is a beautiful frame", even if it isn't.

Limited blogger said...

No one can get enough of Trump. The NYT will need a full daily section devoted to his presidential goings on.

Brando said...

"Burn me a steak"

I'll have to put that on my Netflix queue--I assume that was John Wayne's line? My favorite Wayne line was from Comancheros (which had one of the best movie theme songs) where he says "I wouldn't go around saying that too often...and once more would be too often."

Michael said...

Is that really his name? Senec(h)al more or less means "butler."

traditionalguy said...

Trump used to get 80% of the coverage on Cable TV and the nets. Since the Sea Island Cloister meet up, he has gotten NONE, but every word uttered against Trump, or about the magnificent and oh so lovable Kasich has gotten 100% of the non Dem race Cable TV and Nets coverage.

virgil xenophon said...

tim in vermont@8:10am/

"He's like a character out of Caddyshack. "


Tim wins the thread! (so far)

virgil xenophon said...

Mac McConnel @10:37am/

"...old money conservative WASPS don't hang vanity portraits of themselves in tennis whites..."

No, you're right, they just wear them instead--every weekend..

Gabriel said...

@A Reasonable Man: I have a question for Miss Manners, what the hell are you supposed to say when confronted with one of these monstrosities.

I've read Miss Manners for many years; manners are fundamentally for putting people at their ease in social situations. A "mannered put-down" is a contradiction in terms. You say the same thing for that portrait that you would say to their child's art, especially if you are a GUEST IN THEIR HOME.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: I can't miss this opportunity to tell this story about vanity and portraits (the subject of the post, no?) which I think most here will enjoy. In undergraduate days I took a philosophy course from a Greek professor (and a helluva tennis player--he used to practice w. our team) On one occasion he invited the entire class (about 12 people) over to his house for drinks (mainly to subtly hustle the young debutants, lol, he and his wife had an open marriage--she used to like to hustle young studs on campus) Along the top of his dining room four walls he had a hand-painted Grecian freize of all the Olympic Gods playing their appropriate roles in Olympus. One minor detail: ALL had HIS visage atop the torso.. ROTFLMAO!!!!

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger virgil xenophon said...
tim in vermont@8:10am/

"He's like a character out of Caddyshack. "


Tim wins the thread! (so far)

3/15/16, 11:20 AM
----------------------------

I object!
He's like Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School"

I win.

Fabi said...

Trying to tie it all in -- Caddyshack and steaks. Trump as Judge Smails telling the valet "Porterhouse" to get the wax build-up off of his shoes and then buff them with a fine chamois:

"Chop, chop!"

damikesc said...

I have known other people with paintings in this style. I have a question for Miss Manners, what the hell are you supposed to say when confronted with one of these monstrosities.

"My, that piece is...interesting" usually suffices.

Unless you're Southern. Then just saying "Oh, honey..." and trailing off puts the message out sufficiently.

JRoberts said...

I tried to take up painting, but the picture frames made it difficult to sand between coats.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Billionaire gets his steaks cooked well done? He just lost my vote!

Ann Althouse said...Puts in some tasty charred flavor though. Some people like that. And tough is just another texture. Maybe the meat is so tender its still tender when well done. But some people enjoy chewing. He seems to have some sturdy chompers.

I appreciate your enormous generosity here, Professor, but no. Blackening or heavily-searing a steak adds some tasty charred flavor. Cooking it well done just ruins it, and no meat is tender enough to still be tender when well done (by definition, really).

"Trump doesn't understand how steak should taste, still thinks he has judgement necessary to be Prez. Sad."

William said...

I'd like to think that Trump meant the portrait as some kind of post modern, ironic joke, but my guess is that when he looks in the mirror that portrait is the person he sees. He doesn't much struggle with problems of self esteem. The neat thing is that he has convinced a fair number of people that he looks like that......I wonder how much the artist charged him. The deal of the art, as Simon said to Garfunkel during royalty negotiations.

readering said...

If you have seen photos of Trump's apartment on 5th Avenue you know he doesn't do irony when it comes to furnishings and art.

jr565 said...

That looks less like Trump and more like Lee Majors.

Danno said...

Commenter Chuck said ..."And not one of them has any business being President of the United States."

Chuck, Didn't you know the bar came down when Obama was elected? Absolutely anyone is qualified now.

Earnest Prole said...

Ignorance is Bliss: genius

HoodlumDoodlum said...

French documentary (so you know it's classy as hell): Steak (R)evolution

Well done? No, no no.

Andrew said...

virgil xenophon
The best clubs don't allow anything but tennis whites on the courts.

Lydia said...

It's the hand draped across his thigh that caught my eye. The rather small hand drawn to look bigger? Thank you, Marco Rubio!

Fabi said...

Interesting observation, traditionalguy. I've seen the list of attendees at The Cloister and found it to be an odd mix. Elon Musk? He likes his Goverment subsidies, but he is not a politico by any stretch of the imagination, i.e., he'd be just as likely to continue playing crony capitalist with Trump in the WH.

JaimeRoberto said...

This reminds me of when I was touring Graceland and some blue haired old ladies were admiring a portrait of Elvis. I think it's the one shown here http://ralphcowan.weebly.com/celebrity-portraits.html. One of ladies commented that it was a very flattering portrait, to which my then girlfriend replied, "Of course it is. The artist wanted him to buy it."

Rhythm and Balls said...

He is rich, therefore you will love him.

Well, it's possible you may resist the urge to love him but as Republicans you are obligated to sense it in you.

Feel his richness, wealth and prosperity! It fuels the nation and inspires you to vote and to wake up another day!

Freeman Hunt said...

Frat Guy in the Sky

Freeman Hunt said...

It really captures the 80's rich guy aesthetic.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando and comedian john Mulaney think alike: Mulaney: Trump is a hobo's idea of a rich person.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

King of the Hill: Hank's rules on cooking steak