The artist responsible for the nude painting of Donald Trump, portraying him with small genitals, has fled the U.S. after receiving threats of violence from supporters of the Republican presidential front-runner.
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Ilma Gore’s work, ‘Make America Great Again’, is up for sale with a price tag of £1 million (NZ$2.5 million). It’s currently being displayed at the Maddox Gallery in London, after galleries in the US refused to show it due to security concerns.
“The reaction, especially in the UK, has been incredibly supportive. Everywhere apart from America has been great,” Gore told The Guardian.
“Who knew it would be such a big deal? I think an artist’s job is to take the times we’re living in and then set the scene. It is a representation of where we are.”
Gore, who lives in Los Angeles, says Mr Trump himself gave the painting’s popularity a boost when he referenced the size of his penis in a Republican presidential debate in March.
She has received anonymous threats of a lawsuit, should the painting sell.
The next primary will be held in New York, where polls put Mr Trump well ahead of rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
Mr Trump, whose overall lead in the race is slipping, has been critical of the voting processes some states have used to select their delegates. Wyoming recently gave all 34 of its delegates to Mr Cruz, after a vote involving only party insiders — not general members.
Mr Trump says the system is “rigged”, and has suggested his supporters may get violent at the party’s convention in July if he isn’t picked as their candidate.
“I hope it doesn’t involve violence,” he told media at Staten Island in New York.
“I hope it doesn’t. I’m not suggesting that… I don’t think it will. But I will say this, it’s a rigged system, it’s a crooked system.”
He has also hinted at flat-out bribing delegates to get their vote, even while admitting it would be “corrupt”.
“Nobody has better toys than I do. ‘Delegates, listen, we’re going to send you to Mar-a-Lago on a Boeing 757, you’re going to use the spa, you’re going to do this, you’re going to do that, we want your vote.’ That’s a corrupt system.”
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