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Sun May 21, 2017, 05:42 PM

Radius Gallery's group show featuring Holly Andres' Trump Series opens Fri., May 26.


The new four-piece series has all the flair of a signature Andres vision—rich color and an anachronistic feel. She shot it in her bedroom, capturing the crisp detail of personal objects: stacked books, vintage camisoles hanging out of drawers, an aqua rotary phone. The only human subject is a man whose face is mostly obscured, but the bleach-blond sweep of flyaway hair is unmistakable. The photographs are a sequence in which this Trump-like character ransacks Andres' room, beginning with him dumping out a dresser drawer of her underwear and ending with him crawling out the window like a burglar, at this point nearly disrobed, his boxers bunching just below his buttcrack.

The new body of work is an attempt to capture that image of Trump as a violator. It's humorous—that hair and the plumber's crack!and also grotesque in the way the figure seems to be lecherously and carelessly helping himself to the objects in the room. "I'm using my room—this intimate private space—as a kind of a proxy for my mind, and I was thinking of this monstrous figure upending it," Andres says.

Since the election, Andres has involved herself in Portland-area political action on social media. She talks a lot about white privilege and protecting and elevating the country's most vulnerable voices. The Trump series is the first time she's incorporated politics into her art, and while it has all the elements that Andres usually brings to her work, it's also much more directly to the point.

"Part of the anxiety of this time period is not really knowing what is going to happen from day to day," she says. "And that feels like a type of psychological warfare. This is a great country, don't get me wrong. But I do feel like Donald Trump perfectly epitomizes all of its ills—the greed, the ignorance, the narcissism, the gluttony. He's not the American Dream. He's our American monster."


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