Why Trump's mugshot will be the new American Gothic

Why Trump's mugshot will be the new American Gothic
Donald Trump calls Chris Christie a 'maniac' in Tucker Carlson interview

Donald Trump is expected to surrender for arrest today (August 24) on charges relating to efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and there has been much discussion on whether he will likely get a mugshot taken.

The former president's lawyer and ally Rudy Giuliani surrendered to authorities in Georgia for this investigation where a mugshot was shared of him and he has since been released on $150,000 (£118,000) bail.

While the mugshots of nine other co-defendants have also been released in this case.

With this in mind, TikToker Joshua (@appliedscience11) has gone viral with 802,000 views for his video on how Trump's mugshot will impact society, comparing it to how America reacted to the famous 'American Gothic' painting by Grant Wood.

"So I was thinking about this today and I need you to stay with me, Trump's mugshot is gonna be like Grant Wood's American Gothic," he began.

In the 1930 painting, a farmer is holding his pitchfork alongside his daughter outside their 1880s Carpenter Gothic-style home.

Wood was inspired by a farmhouse he had seen in Eldon, Iowa and depicted "the kind of people [he] fancied should live in that house."

The painting currently resides in the Art Institute in Chicago, as Joshua went to visit the museum in person to share his analysis.

"This painting did something psychological to America, it literally created a nationwide debate," he said.

For context, the TikToker described how in the 1920s there was a "growing tension" between cities and rural America as cities were becoming more diverse from migration, while rural America felt that they were being "left behind politically."

"And here comes Grant Wood in the middle of all this controversy, America's troll and he drops this little masterpiece," as he filmed the painting on display.


Trumps mug shot will be like Grant Woods American Gothic. Product of one of my incoherent rants that @Garrison Hayes @DonnellWrites @Raven Schwam-Curtis had to suffer through at the dinner table #trumpmugshot #chicago

Joshua believes the most comparable example of how the world was impacted by the painting is the blue/black and white/gold dress debate back in 2015.

The reason the painting was so divisive is because people interpreted the artwork in two different ways, with "both sides [thinking] it was a diss against the other side."

"City people loved the painting because they thought Grant Wood was trying to create a caricature of the dull disaster that was the Midwest," he explained.

"Rural folks loved it because they thought Grant Wood was trying to show the pride of America."

"And it didn't help that Grant Wood f***ing loved the drama bro," as Joshua noted how Wood would turn up to one interview in a suit where he criticised farm people, while at another interview he would be dressed in overalls and say he got his best ideas from milking a cow, despite reportedly being repelled by livestock.

Wood intended his painting to convey a positive image of rural American values, offering a vision of reassurance at the beginning of the Great Depression, according to the Art Institute Chicago.

In his own words, Wood said: "There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement."

But how does American Gothic's impact relate to Trump's mugshot?

Joshua explains the cultural and political connection between the two - noting how both conservatives and liberals will see it as a "diss track" to the opposing side of the debate.

"Liberals want to see the mug shot and put it on t-shirts and billboards because it reaffirms their belief that Trump is a criminal," he said, adding that they see it as "proof he's caused harm."

Conservatives want to see the mugshot on display but for another reason, as it "confirms what they already believe that there's a deep state set of actors that are willing to do anything to take Trump down."

Though Joshua concludes that Trump is like Wood, and "there's probably a high chance that both sides are just getting played by a smooth-talking conman."

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