March 24, 2016 / 5:50 AM / 3 years ago

Trump effigy takes an offal approach to celebrity for HK art show

HONG KONG (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been pilloried in many ways, over his bouffant hair, orange skin and supposedly small hands, but a British artist has now used raw pig and sheep parts to sculpt him for a Hong Kong art show.

The Trump installation is a photograph of a human model wearing a blond bouffant hairpiece over a face constructed from a real pig snout and sheep eye balls. A half-eaten croissant, raw fish, chunks of rubble covered in gold leaf and a suit splashed with crude oil complete the look.

“I wanted to create a visual icon of the megalomania that has got to the point where his need for attention is overriding any kind of relationship or care for anyone else in the world,” artist James Ostrer told Reuters.

In a separate written statement, Ostrer explained he was responding to the “vast divide between what we are being sold and what we are actually getting” and said he couldn’t see Trump as anything other than a “deranged insecure attention seeker”.

There was no response from Trump’s team to an email seeking comment about Ostrer’s caricature.

The real-estate billionaire and former reality TV star has made a series of controversial statements on subjects including illegal immigration and national security. Such remarks have boosted his popularity with supporters who see him as someone who speaks uncomfortable truths, but have also outraged millions in the United States and around the world.

Ostrer, whose Hong Kong installation also includes equally grotesque portraits of U.S. golfer Tiger Woods and celebrities Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus, said he chose them for what they represented.

British artist James Ostrer poses beside a photo taken by him of his creation entitled "Emotional Download", which depicts Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, as part of his series "The Ego System", during an art exhibition in Hong Kong, China March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

He describes his celebrity caricatures as “honesty portraits”. Each portrait includes the number of Google searches on its subject at the time of the exhibition, based on Google Trends data.

“I didn’t choose them purposefully because I disliked them,” he said. “I felt like they, as individuals, were perfectly emblematic of certain aspects of the contemporary human condition.”

Ostrer said he visits meat and fish markets for materials, which he mixes in much the same way as a painter might mix colors.

Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Pak Yiu and Stef McIntyre; Editing by Paul Tait

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