Artist Justin T. Russo has a different vision for the leaders of the free world.
As Americans, we live in a hyper-masculinized society that prides power, strength, and virility above all else. Just look at Donald Trump’s current campaign: with virtually no grounding in foreign affairs or political experience, his nerve and bravado alone have been enough to make him the Republican frontrunner. After all, shouldn’t the leader of the free world be an independent, even brazen, manly man?
In his series “Government and Gams,” produced exclusively for Warped Speed, Justin T. Russo decided to take famous American leaders (and current hopefuls) and blend their iconic personalities with the (adopted) American art of the pin-up model. In the artist’s own words, he explained to us that “Society has thrust public figures on a pedestal; we want perfection, someone who personifies Americana. In a way, we worship this idea, as we do pinups. Pinups (and beefcakes) are the modern idealized form. This is a marriage of two similar thoughts.
“With my work, I wanted to showcase [them as] more than their ideas but as the political figures they are in reality. I wanted to use issues they are known for in office or on the campaign trail and characterize it in art. Donald Trump likes to blow smoke — and has gotten himself in trouble with women’s rights. What better personification than Monroe in ‘The Seven Year Itch,’ literally having steam blowing up her skirt and the paradigm of scrutiny.”
Keep reading to see Russo’s art–exclusively on Warped Speed–that will allow you to take a step back from the severity of today’s political scene as it strips (literally) the power from America’s most influential and dominating men.
Ladies and gentlemen, the presidents of the United States…
“The first thing you see on the news each day is politics. It’s a serious topic and rightfully so. However, there are times when I feel we need to bring some lightheartedness into what is ordinarily a serious manner. I harken back to the biggest star of the World War II (and most famous pinup) Betty Grable bringing warmth and a smile in an era of uncertainty,” the artist told us.
What was really under that blanket?