Comrade hippies at the HealiUm Art Center in Atlanta, GA, have come up with a creative plan to heal our divided nation. Mocking Donald Trump's book title, The Art of the Deal, they named their project The Art of The Heal, calling everyone who self-identifies as being an artist to create over 100,000 pieces of art to send to the White House by July 4th, 2017: "Gift the collective art to the President of The United States with a request to display the gifted art pieces in the White House for public viewing."
We may be witnessing the birth of a new civil right: any artist trapped in a non-artist's body should be able to exhibit anything that he/she/it/xyz thinks is "art" in the White House. The rest of the 100,000 "art" pieces that can't realistically be expected to fit inside are going to be displayed on the White House lawn during the Independence Day celebration.
There is little doubt that most submissions will be indistinguishable from protest signs we've already seen at the recent anti-Trump marches. Be prepared for the flurry of anatomically incorrect penises, vaginas, and small hands, as well as the assorted Hitlers and swastikas, accompanied by four-letter words that are meant to transcend boundaries, push the envelope, shift the paradigm, break the taboos, and shock the fascists.
The exhibition comes with an "Art March," whereby the participants will probably carry their art pieces as protest signs and later return them to the exhibition, where the signs will once again become art, thus achieving a perfect interchangeability of art and reality. Additional exhibits of love, such as torching cars, smashing windows, beating up Trump supporters with baseball bats to facilitate healing, and other conceptual art performances are optional.
The launch was only just announced, but the preview of "art" can already be seen on Facebook here and here. The pictures posted by the project creator, Jim Peera, and his presumed life partner, Haseena Peera, confirm our fears: they are uniformly sophomoric in their ideas and infantile in their execution. The most conceptually mature is, perhaps, the drawing of Trump as a jinni coming out of a vodka bottle, but given that the president famously doesn't drink alcohol, that is neither here nor there. If mixed metaphors is your cup of tea, there is an orange Trump dressed as Lady Liberty while also having a Pinocchio nose, and holding a torch made of money.
The theme of Trump as a money-grabbing and lying villain is gently punctuated by a repetitive motif of the "heart" symbol as a counterpoint, condescendingly to remind Trump of the existence of this crucial love-making organ and creatively to express a presumption that the president doesn't have it in his body.
The organizers have obviously tried their best to sound unbiased, and even called their brainchild "a non-partisan, grassroots project that intends to join ordinary people from all walks of life." We can all agree with their observation that "there is worry and division across the nation that is ripping its people apart sparking a need for healing and common ground." But can this project satisfy such a need?
Not if their idea of "common ground" is a sandbox for progressive man-children, where everyone's favorite game is to repeat the same follies over and over, always expecting a different result. That is the definition of insanity, which is exactly where the healing should rather be focused. But judging by their own submissions, the healing they seek is the healing of their own partisan hearts wounded by Trump's NEA funding cuts. The rest of the country be damned.
The project's hashtag, #artoftheheal, sounds too vegetarian. Given that all the self-identified artists must surely see themselves as poor victims of cruel and unusual defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts, one would expect them to have a more dramatic hashtag usually associated with terrorist atrocities: #JeSuisArtiste.
A quick search for other artwork by the Peera couple brought up a T-shirt design by Haseena Peera that looks like the well-known "coexist" sticker, only with the word "provoke" and with the marijuana leaf inside the first "O." That leaf may well explain the couple's creative method, as well as a number of terrible miscalculations they have made in their "Art for Trump" project.
Their first mistake was to post the actual "art." Right off the bat, it exposed the real intent behind their vague mission statement, which is to "provide a creative non-partisan solution to America's civil unrest."
If successful, the project will also prove that the National Endowment for the Arts is completely unnecessary. If more than 100,000 pieces of agitprop can be created by the people for the government voluntarily - with no funding but with great enthusiasm of the masses - why spend money on something that happens spontaneously anyway?
If unsuccessful, it will also prove that the National Endowment for the Arts is unnecessary by showing the taxpayers exactly what kind of "arts" and "artists" used to live off their tax dollars. Seeing this exhibit should immunize even the staunchest taxpaying liberal against wanting to subsidize such projects in the foreseeable future.
Artist, heal thyself. For everyone else, there's still Obamacare.