January 14, 2017

"A 1989 photograph of Donald Trump tossing a red apple was installed today at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C."

"This photograph has led many lives, nearly disappearing into obscurity. In 1989, Trump posed for [Michael] O'Brien, who was on assignment for a Fortune magazine story on American billionaires. From the beginning, O'Brien knew he wanted to place Trump against a backdrop of a bright blue sky and cotton ball clouds, a sky he says was inspired by the surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The apple was a last-minute addition, he told NPR. 'On the day of the shoot I thought, "It needs some type of action, something unexpected but telling." Bingo! A big red apple popped into my head ... It was sort of subconscious the apple. It was sparked by a color scheme, and I later realized it was symbolic of New York.'... [A]bout a year later, Random House asked O'Brien for the rights to use the image for the cover of Trump's autobiography Trump: Surviving at the Top. Over 20 years after that, the image was acquired by the museum. Today the portrait hangs under wall text that reads ' 2017 Inauguration, Donald J. Trump.'" Reports NPR.



Nice picture. Especially because the apple represents the geographic place Trump dominated, it makes me think of Chaplin tossing the globe around in "The Great Dictator":



But O'Brien says he was inspired by Magritte:



That's the one with the apple, but the sky is not bright blue with cotton-ball clouds. That seems to point to this famous Magritte image:



Perhaps O'Brien conflated the images. Question which of the 2 relates more to Trump. Trump doesn't seem to get obscured by things in front of his face, so I think the second image is more relevant. The surrealism is the nighttime on the ground while it is daylight in the sky. These are dark days, it seems, to many of us as we short-sightedly observe our immediate surroundings. But perhaps it is Morning in America, and those with their head hung down cannot see it.

67 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

“The surrealism is the nighttime on the ground while it is daylight in the sky.”

This motif was also used for the photograph of Jackson Browne’s album cover “Late For The Sky.”

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_for_the_Sky”>Late For The Sky.</a>

Just an observation. It’s not like I condone his beating Darryl Hannah or anything.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Don't know why it didn't make the link. Sorry.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

Laslo, one of your quotes is curly.

Jason said...

An egg, not an apple. But New York is the Big Apple, and this is the scene the portrait reminded me of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgwSd6lpGKA

"Would you like an egg?"

Rob said...

Trump was imagining the apple was a pussy. The parody images should be entertaining.

Bob Boyd said...

The Gallery needs a portrait of Obama tossing a tomato into a fruit salad.

Kassaar said...

It made me think of this Magritte. A poster of it adorned my student room, more than forty years ago.

traditionalguy said...

Remember this Bambino was captain of the Military Academy baseball team, playing a first baseman snagging low throws. Or should that be a first base person.

I see they photoshopped the orange hair out.

Michael K said...

Good picture.

rehajm said...
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rehajm said...

It made me think of raspberries

Unknown said...

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/john-lewis-donald-trump-not-legitimate-president-233607.

Just as Trump tried to de-legitimize Obama with the Birther movement and so Trump will be de-legitimized because of the Russia with Love connection.

One big difference is there are more people in NotMyPresident country than in Trumpland.

John said...

These are dark days, it seems, to many of us as we short-sightedly observe our immediate surroundings. But perhaps it is Morning in America, and those with their head hung down cannot see it.

Not sure I'd equate Trump to Reagan at this point but I've felt an eerie similarity between the last few years and the end of the '70's - an acceptance forced upon on us that this is just how it's going to be. Call it a malaise if you will.

We need to accept terrorism rather than try to stop it.
We need to accept civil unrest - even though no end-game result has been offered.
We need to accept globalism - if you can't find work in your home-town, just move to Mumbai.
We need to accept that others know what's best for us - they will give us all we need, just go through life and be grateful.

n.n said...

From twilight to dawn. Revitalization. Rehabilitation. Reconciliation.

Perhaps an end to social justice adventures, extrajudicial trials, immigration reform, and global belligerence.

Optimistic. An apple a day...

boycat said...

In the meantime, Unknown, Trump has the presidency, the house, the senate, the supreme court, and all those state legislatures and governorships on his side. And clear sailing for the next 8 years. You may as well slit your wrists.

William said...

"But perhaps it's morning, and those with their heads down cannot see it." That's a fine phrase. I hope you're right, and Trump is Reagan Redux, but we won't know until we live through it.

America's Politico said...

Sad they did not have a single positive quote on the photo or story. How sad? I continue to see how the Press is going to treat DJT in 4-years. Every media outlet, NYT, Post, NPR, etc, are hiring reporters and more reporters. There will be simply investigative stories all 4-years. End result: Public is going to be more and more dischanted and DJT gets another 4-years.

Question for Prof: Since Queen Hillary is not 1st woman-POTUS, who will be the first from the current officials? Amy K from MN, Warren from MA, or Kamala from CA. Or Haley (SC & now UN) first as VP (with Mario or Cruz as POTUS and then herself as POTUS).

What else do you see?

Thanks!

harryo said...

John Lewis is to Atlanta, as Ralph Nader was to Detroit.

When you think of John Lewis, you think of a man in a swivel chair.
When you think of Trump, you think of a man beating the bushes.

Americans are more apt to shoot a bird for dinner with one, than the other.

tcrosse said...

One big difference is there are more people in NotMyPresident country than in Trumpland.
But those people are poorly distributed.

rhhardin said...

An Irishman discovered gravity when a potato fell on his head.

n.n said...

Where Atlas strained with the load, Trump manages the task with finesse. Another American myth... man, realized. However, the Earth is more than an Apple. Good luck!

Unknown said...

"Who’s the Illegitimate President Now, Mr. Birtherism?"

https://newrepublic.com/article/139840/whos-illegitimate-president-now-mr-birtherism

karlpopperghost said...

Question which of the 2 relates more to Trump. Trump doesn't seem to get obscured by things in front of his face, so I think the second image is more relevant. The surrealism is the nighttime on the ground while it is daylight in the sky. These are dark days, it seems, to many of us as we short-sightedly observe our immediate surroundings.

The second picture reminds me of The Exorcist.

Author William Peter Blatty just died as did the priest who inspired the book. Lots of death out there including Trump killing Hope according to Michele "Finally proud of my country" Obama.

I voted for Trump and I think he's "killing it" with his press conferences and tweets and trouble making ways.

I think Trump has given birth to renewed optimism and enthusiasm. And I know I'm not alone in my POV.

karlpopperghost said...

"Who’s the Illegitimate President Now, Mr. Birtherism?"

President Birtherism.

Unknown said...

It's poetic justice that Rep.Lewis named Trump to be an illegitimate president after all those years Trump put out fake news about President Obama's birth certificate and legitimacy. Maybe it's Karma.

Unknown said...

As the days go by, we hear more about the Russia connection. Things are going to get very interesting, I suspect.

Unknown said...

Funny thing about Trumpland. The NotMyPresident country generates 2 times more economic output than Trumpland and gets more than one Federal tax dollar in return.

Trumpland can't make enough income to keep the lights on and has to be subsidized by NotMyPresident country. Sounds like Trumpland are a bunch of whiney, lazy no-gooders who want everything on a plate.

Wouldn't it be great if the subsidies stopped. Trumpland would wither and die.

Unknown said...

More poetic justice, Democrats and Republicans against Trump leaving Washington DC during the illegitimate president's inauguration. And this is only the beginning.

Charlie Eklund said...

tcrosse said

One big difference is there are more people in NotMyPresident country than in Trumpland.
But those people are poorly distributed.


Those people are distributed just right, if you ask me.

readering said...

Back in 1989 Trump was 42 going on 43. TR was 42 when he became president, JFK 43. Dan Quayle was 42 in 1989, 6 months younger than Trump.

Mark said...

The red apple as NYC seems to be more a case of a peg fitting a coincidental hole. The real question is what the hell does the apple for a face mean in the original?

FleetUSA said...

Magritte's personal U.S. attorney had a Manhattan office. Entering it felt like going into a bank's safe deposit vault but the walls had a number of Magrittes. Very impressive. He also represented an African country - the purpose of my visit.

n.n said...

Mark:

"The Son of Man"

Perhaps it's a symbol of [class] diversity. A generic man, in a generic suit, a commodity of modern society, distinguished only by his "skin color".

Unknown said...

Trumpland

You like to sneer and jeer at the liberals on the Coasts. Well, I gotta tell ya there are hundreds of thousands of liberals working day and night building automation tools including robots. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already started and these new generation automation products and services are going to decimate jobs in Trumpland. All those millions of truck drivers? Gone.

Have you seen how many people work in a manufacturing plant these days? Well, there will be even less in a few years.

You seriously think Trump is going to bring back tens of millions of jobs? Corporate America will build a few token plants in Trumpland to show willing but will accelerate building new ones overseas. Why? Because it will be cheaper to import products and pay tariffs then to employ people in Trumpland.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

[class diversity]: Apples to apples, oranges to oranges. etc. The antithesis of individual dignity, human dignity.

Unknown said...

And what's interesting is that Trumpists will ignore the reality of Trump's failures as they've ignored the blaring evidence of collusion between a hostile foreign power and the Trump campaign, soon to be administration. As he said, he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and his followers would remain loyal. The love of Trumpism over the love of ones own country. How they wrapped themselves in the flag during the Bush years, to this adherence to Trumpism despite Trump's probable treachery and treason.

sane_voter said...

Unknown lied:
Funny thing about Trumpland. The NotMyPresident country generates 2 times more economic output than Trumpland and gets more than one Federal tax dollar in return.

2015
Trumpland GDP: $9.03 Trillion
Not my Prez land GDP: $8.85 Trillion

US Dept. of Commerce

Earnest Prole said...

Laslo has it exactly right: This motif was also used for the photograph of Jackson Browne’s album cover “Late For The Sky.”

Surreally, the final song on Late for the Sky is “Before the Deluge.”

epador said...

Ah yes. Then there is: Marcel Duchamp, Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage . . . (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas . . . ) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So easy to pass by. So easy to discount, miss the message and the beauty within, and the joke without.

Unknown said...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-russia-dossier-file-investigation-hacking-christopher-steele-mi6-a7526901.html

"Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele's frustration as FBI sat on Donald Trump Russia file for months
Exclusive: Steele was so concerned by revelations he worked without payment after Trump's election victory in November"

karlpopperghost said...

Unknown said...

You seem to be having a meltdown. As the Trump presidency approaches you are being triggered into a spamming fit.

As the days go by, we hear more about the Russia connection. Things are going to get very interesting, I suspect.

I think so as well. The Trump presidency will get very interesting. Much better than Boring Barack.

Unknown said...
Trumpland

You like to sneer and jeer at the liberals on the Coasts. Well, I gotta tell ya there are hundreds of thousands of liberals working day and night building automation tools including robots. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already started and these new generation automation products and services are going to decimate jobs in Trumpland.


Yup. It does look like black America will be hit as hard as anybody. The black working class of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Alabama will probably not have much of a future competing with Asians, Mexicans and automation.

But why gloat about it just because they live in Trumpland states and not Seattle/Portland, the San Fran bay area or New England?

....they've ignored the blaring evidence of collusion between a hostile foreign power

Russophobia is a hellava drug.

EDH said...

Speaking of neoteny...

"A baby's arm holding an apple."

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Democrats and Republicans against Trump leaving Washington DC during the illegitimate president's inauguration.

Give it a rest, willya?

I live in the DC area, Unknown. Every inauguration everyone who isn't involved gets & stays as far away as possible because DC is a logistical mess on Inauguration Day. The hotels are full of tourists who don't know how to use the metro. The restaurants are booked. The taxis are all in use. It becomes the quintessential example of "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded".

Since Inauguration Day is a Federal holiday (once again, logistical issues), it's three day weekend. Why not leave town? Add to that, the fact that, if you're downtown or close to a nearby suburban metro, you can make big bucks renting your place to out-of-towners who need a place to stay for a couple of days, and there are powerful incentives to be somewhere else.

Hell, I voted for the man, & there's no way I'd go downtown to stand in the cold for hours.

Unknown said...

There are two Unknowns commenting here on this thread. De Nile is a river in Egypt.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

There are two Unknowns commenting here on this thread

No shit, Sherlock. You know, it's real easy for one or both of you to fix that problem.

Unknown said...

It's not a problem for me, I quite enjoy it.

Unknown said...

How about that great General Flynn calling the Russian Ambassador five times the day the Russian spies got kicked out of the US. Interesting to say the least.

Unknown said...

Not suspicious in the least, eh?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-idUSKBN14X1YX

"Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, held five phone calls with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day the United States retaliated for Moscow's interference in the U.S. presidential election, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The calls occurred between the time the Russian embassy was told about U.S. sanctions and the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he had decided against reprisals, said the sources. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing internal U.S. government deliberations about the issue."


karlpopperghost said...

Unknown said...

There are two Unknowns commenting here on this thread. De Nile is a river in Egypt.

Unknown said...

Not suspicious in the least, eh?


So you are the Canadian Unknown?

Fen said...

Unknown's impotent bitterness reminds me of customer complaints we would keep in the "nuts" file for to amuse ourselves with.

Yes, if we don't meet your stupid demands, you'll blog about and ruin us. Oh gee we are so scared! How will we ever get by without the $20 you spend in our stores every month. We are quivering at the threat of all your imaginary and powerful friends that will rally to drive us out of business.

Fen said...

"Over the love of one's own country"

Said the hypocrite with a chronic case of oikaphobia.

We decline to be lectured about the future from those who got everything wrong about the past. But keep clinging to your bitter impotence. I prefer souls marinated in despair. So yummy.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, held five phone calls with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day the United States retaliated for Moscow's interference in the U.S. presidential election, three sources familiar with the matter said.

No, fuckwit, not suspicious in the least.

That there would be back channel communications between the Russian government & a soon-to-be administration trying to contain the fallout on both sides. That's called diplomacy, Unknown. There's a lot of it in history. You might want to read some.

While you're reading some of that history, you might want to read up on the "Red Scares". That was when good liberals like you got all up in arms about how conservatives were seeing "Reds on every corner", & slandering folks if they thought they had any sort of connection to a country that had not-too-long before been our "brave ally in the fight against fascism". I would say it's strange to see your side taking this particular low road, but if there's anything that Trump's victory has taught the rest of us is that your side has absolutely no principles when it's power is threatened. None.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Funny thing about Trumpland. The NotMyPresident country generates 2 times more economic output than Trumpland and gets more than one Federal tax dollar in return."

Thank you.

Now get back to work peasant. President Trump needs more revenue for his grand plans.

Carry on!

Drago said...

"Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, held five phone calls with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day the United States retaliated for Moscow's interference in the U.S. presidential election, three sources familiar with the matter said."

Only five?!

He'd better start working alot harder than that if he wants to keep up with the pace President Trump is setting.

Drago said...

Apparently we have 2 Known Unknowns.

The question is how many Unknown Unknowns are lurking about?

Thank you Donald Rumsfeld.

Unknown said...

"...not suspicious in the least."

Your head is so far up Trump's ass you have no idea of what you've just said. First, Flynn was still ha private citizen when he spoke to the Russian ambassador, which is a possible violation of the Logan Act. Secondly Flynn's connections to RT and Putin already put him in a precarious position. Thirdly, one President at a time. Such behavior by a Trump advisor makes collusion between Trump and Russia even more suspicious and likely.

harryo said...
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Unknown said...

Where's your white hood harryo? This is a Trumpist in full glory.

Unknown said...

"What concrete presumptions flow from the political and moral illegitimacy of Trump’s presidency? Here are four:

Everything Trump speaks, writes, tweets, or otherwise expresses should be presumed false, unless there is reliable (to the listener) evidence that it is true. He has lied so often and so blatantly, and his followers have so persistently rejected the idea of objective truth, that no responsible citizen should believe a word he says unless it can be independently verified. The press will be acting irresponsibly unless it covers him according to this principle.

Trump should never be presumed to be acting in the best interests of the United States. His actions with respect to his business interests and his family’s wealth suggest that his highest loyalties are to those personal concerns, and his loyalty to the nation is completely secondary. His encouragement of the Russian cyberattack on the election is just the most extreme example of his loyalty to himself over loyalty to his country. Every move he makes should therefore be presumed to represent a conflict of interest, unless he can demonstrate that no conflict exists.

The wealthy donors and others he appoints to office should be presumed incompetent and riddled with interest conflicts until proven otherwise. His emphasis on a cult of personal loyalty, insensitivity to conflicts of interest, alliances with bigots, and willingness to appoint people wholly ignorant of, and indeed hostile to, the tasks associated with a particular office, mean that the burden of proof should always be on Trump to demonstrate the competence and honesty of his appointees. Unlike what routinely occurs in a normal presidency, Senators should give absolutely no deference to his choices. Indeed, nominees requiring confirmation should be questioned at length and scrutinized with care, in order to expose their flaws. Confirmation of nominees should be slowed down and blocked in every procedural way possible.

Trump’s substantive judgments should be presumed ignorant, and, at times, dangerous. His unwillingness to educate himself about crucial details of national security and domestic policy, or to surround himself with expert and trustworthy advisors, means that every substantive judgment he makes is highly likely to be flawed."

Unknown said...

Above quote from:
"Nancy J. Altman is the founding co-director of Social Security Works. Ira C. Lupu, a constitutional law scholar, is the F. Elwood & Eleanor Davis Professor of Law, Emeritus at George Washington University Law School"

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Ericson said...

This is why Trump won.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Trump probably like that picture because his hands don't look tiny. Amazing that he has refused to change that ugly hairstyle for decades.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Wjat transpired Taylor Swift "1989" I demand good, good lawyers, patents, and property and poseeision and stuffings, we all agree: I thought of it.

So beg me.

So go to there doorand beg for me.

Big Mike said...

The clouds are wrong. If you look at a blue sky with real clouds in it the clouds nearer to the horizon appear to be closer together. I'm surprised that a person could earn a BFA and not have one of her painting instructors teach this to her.

Big Mike said...

As a history buff, the presidency that seems closest to the Trump phenomenon is not Reagan's but Teddy Roosevelt's. Same estrangement from the party establishment, same hopeless sense out in the Heartland that their lives and aspirations were being shortchanged by big moneyed interests controlling puppet politicians from both parties, same notion that the new president is a force of nature.

As one old songwriter put it, "You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changing."