Upon hearing the news of the heroic Trump NFT trading cards, of which there are 45,000, no indignation welled up in my chest, no eyebrow raised, not a hair stood on end, and no goose pimple formed. After a long yawn, I can sum up my reaction to the launch of the cards, the caliber of the artwork, the substance of the content, and the fact that they sold out in a day for millions with one word: Derp!

And it’s not just because it’s Trump. It would be equally cringe if it was Biden or Obama.

Some people are pointing out that the digitally created images, which seem to be mostly Photo-bashed [digitally collaged], perhaps combined with AI or otherwise computer generated, are not wholly original works. Uh huh. At least they weren’t done entirely in AI, and the hands don’t have 6 or more fingers.

This is all perfectly in line with other popular NFT collectible series. We are talking about a marketplace and community where Bored Ape Yacht Club computer generated variations on utterly mediocre recombinable visual components are the holy grail.

It’s just another pile of dog crap on a sidewalk littered with dog crap.

Whatever the Trump NFTs are, they are not worth considering as art. You’d have to be a bit dim when it comes to art history, aesthetics, or art in the most general sense of the word to not see why the success of these collectibles is a joke. If it isn’t blindingly obvious, imagine what the equivalent of these images would be as songs or poems.

In a sane world this collection would be the stuff of satire, and even saying that is so goddamned obvious that it’s hardly worth typing this sentence. NFTs in general have represented a kind of Darwin’s Award for art, and along with AI, at their worst, which is nearly always, have been abused to sink art to not just meaninglessness, but anti-meaning, and anti-art.

This is the kind of milquetoast noxious drivel that is created when art is completely subordinated to selfish greed, opportunism, and an obvious attempt to fleece suckers.

We have reached a point where ostensible visual art is making people both blind and stupid.


Derp and double derp!


7 replies on “Runaway Rant: The Trump NFTs are Par for the Course

  1. Super post! 👏⭐️👏⭐️👏
    Happy to see it. 🤗

    Derp, indeed.

    Setting aside the discomfiting political aspect of this visual offering to the gods of gimcrackery: my first reaction was disbelief. I assumed they were a joke!

    Then? Resignation. Of course there’d be NFTs, and these are digital gewgaws, pricey souvenirs of a trip to Hell – or Heaven, depending on those political aspects set aside above – country fair tchotchkes with a cyber twist.

    But why not make them say something? Tbh I was surprised the sheriff dude with the cowboy hat didn’t drawl, “GM, m’am” or “Howdy, Fam.”

    My final reaction? The noxious memory of a guy I once worked with named Arthur, a snarky sleaze with gastrointestinal issues everyone referred to as “Art the Fart.”

    Sometimes it’s art. But sometimes a fart is just a fart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard several takes on this. One was that Trump has a ton of legal debt and he picked up about $4.5 million in one day with the sale. Another was that when he announced 11/16, he then held a one day fundraising drive the following Monday 11/21 that didn’t go very well. People yesterday were saying he stole the work and there were still watermarks on some of the pieces.

    Its tough going for the art world. I follow a guy on Twitter (‘foundring’) who does these political parody songs, he’s really good. He talks often about how hard it is to get anywhere. Especially when there’s a 19 year old girl on YouTube with 6 million followers and no discernible talent, but she’s cute and tries on different outfits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, the artist who made the pieces, of which there are 45,000 images, and I heard 20 of each individual image, would have needed to make over 2,000 pieces. That’s IF that info is correct. This would have to be done with some sort of help from a program or AI to do the lion’s share of the work. And so, it’s mostly retouched collage from existing works.

      Right, it’s very difficult to get any momentum when you are an independent artist. I participated in the NFT community for a year, and I didn’t make enough to even bother figuring out how to get the crypto out and convert it to dollars. 1 of 45,000 Trump cards is worth at least 100x everything I put out there in a year. And any cute girl who does a selfie also can beat anything I’ve done. So, I get what your guy on Twitter is saying.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. there are no shared arts at the moment.
    people are simply too far apart to communicate. There is no effective communication.
    Thus there is no community.
    and artists have been staring at their navels.
    we should have been trying harder.
    This failure is not an opportunity to revolutionise “art”; but to change the society, the community in which we work.
    To use communication to find out what we really believe in, what we genuinely value.
    And we will have to withdraw from the larger world to find that.
    People communicate more effectively in small groups.
    If art can do this, then it is meaningful.

    “I know i believe in nothing. But it is my nothing.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw an appropriate spoof of the “DJT as Superman” NFT the other day. It was created by a political cartoonist. Instead of DJT showing the big “S” on his chest, it had him ripping open his suit coat and shirt to reveal…jail house stripes.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s