From the Women's Marches to the #MeToo movement to the parade of empowering statements at Fashion Week, women (and men) have done a remarkable job at finding ways to protest predatory white men in power this year. Chief among them, of course, is our very own Chief of State, Donald Trump. Just yesterday, three of Trump's accusers appeared on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today show to speak out about their sexual harassment allegations against the President — and question why America did not allow their claims to stop him from entering the White House.
In the art world, more creative measures have been taken to protest Trump. San Francisco-based artist Hutchtastic has made waves for "Trumpsicles" — Trump-shaped sex toys that come in an array of electric hues, meant to symbolize a feminist reversal of power. "Donald Trump is trying to fuck me and everyone I care about," the artist said in an email to L'Officiel. "I just want to give folks an opportunity to fuck him back."
The sculptures (which can be seen on the artist's Instagram account here) have sparked feminist debates by a number of news outlets ranging from Allure to Playboy. Read our interview with the artist below for her own thoughts behind the provocative project.
The allegations of sexual abuse against Trump are a serious issue to many Americans. How do you go about finding humor in such heavy subject matter?
There is so much to be upset about in the world today. The only way personally I am able to engage with the reality of our current political situation without getting overwhelmed with despair is to do so playfully, with humor, while having fun.
What type of positive feedback have you received?
The feedback I have received is mostly positive. Most of the time people think they are clever or funny, and want to take pictures.
What about negative?
There is an image of me and a table full of Trumpsicles that has been made into a meme by what I believe to be a pro-Trump troll account that has gone viral on Twitter and Instagram so I have gotten some hate comments and the like but to be honest, I think that pissing off the alt right is a sign that I am doing something right more than anything else.
Did you ever worry about the concept of having sex with Trump being alienating to the project?
I mean definitely when some people see the Trumpsicles their reaction has been "Ew! Who would want to have sex with him!" but that does not concern me. I'm ok with the fact that they will make some people uncomfortable. Art should make people uncomfortable!
Given the rough shape, is it safe to assume these aren't intended for sexual use and pleasure?
They are absolutely intended to be art objects, not actual sex toys. And to be honest, in my experience no interaction with Donald Trump is particularly pleasurable, so if someone does choose to use it their experience would be consistent with that.
Are they for sale? If so, where can one buy them?
They absolutely are for sale! You can find them here.
What do you hope people will take away from the sculptures?
I hope to make people laugh, and to maybe help them feel a little more empowered.
How does this project fit into the larger scope of your work?
I think a lot of my work can be read through a feminist or female empowerment lens, and so these are just another expression of that. Over all, my work is pretty eclectic, and so I often struggle to articulate what ties it all together. There certainly are elements that pop up repeatedly though, especially in terms of using bright colors and lots of sparkle, I’m pretty consistent in that regard.
What does the future hold for "Trumpsicles"?
That's a great question! Before I started to sell them I have used them as an element of a larger sculptural piece, and there is definitely the possibility I will continue to use them in that way but as of right now I'm not totally sure what the future will hold. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see!