The Daily Beast has released an in-depth article on Lucian Wintrich’s upcoming pro-Trump art show in New York City, which is sending shockwaves around the art world. The show features as its centerpiece performance art by Breitbart editor MILO.
The event, which is set to take place tomorrow, was forced out of its first venue, has now secured an alternative exhibition space. Tickets are still available for purchase via IndieGoGo.
The Daily Beast took an in-depth look inside Wintrich’s operation in the run-up to the event, as well as the controversy raging around it.
Lucian Wintrich is pacing the floor of his East Village walkup, chain-smoking cigarettes and drinking white wine. It is 2:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, and a little more than 48 hours until Wintrich’s performance art show, #DaddyWillSaveUs, which Wintrich is billing as the first pro-Trump art show in the nation’s history, is set to open.
“Art show,” however, is perhaps not the right phrase. #DaddyWillSaveUs was more of a chance for liberals’, or, for that matter, mainstream Americans’ most hated villains to come together to see if they could offend people further. The show is a museum piece of precisely the kind of degraded public culture that Trump had unleashed, dropping its pants before anyone who dares believe civil norms can still be saved.
Besides infamous tech bro Shkreli, who has apparently taken up sculpture in his spare time (and who seems to be under the impression that Wintrich will actually assemble the installation, hence the “fucking around”), Wintrich said the show is slated to feature Internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos bathing in a tub of pig’s blood (to showcase Islamic anti-gay violence)
The article goes on to describe Wintrich’s attempts to secure a venue for the event, from the tumultuous cancellation of his first option, to problems securing the second.
It was because of Yiannopoulos that one of their back-up places fell through. The space didn’t have two exits, which Yiannopoulos’s security team said is necessary since his performances so often attract death threats. Other back-ups were falling through too. The Columbia University College Republicans offered to help find a space, but it would have required everyone to be pre-registered. A place in Long Island City looked promising; but Wintrich and Akbar wanted the commotion, or at least to plant a flag in the heart of the gallery district of Brooklyn. Another feared that as soon as word got out about the show, the owner of the building, “a flaming liberal,” would demand its cancellation. They thought of reaching out to Trump, but didn’t know how to get hold of him. They called New York Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, who brushed them, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which said they couldn’t much help them either.
“I don’t want to be one of those conservatives who see a conspiracy everywhere,” said Wintrich. “But there is a real conspiracy here.”
He pointed to an email that the culture writer Jamie Peck sent to some hundreds of her writer friends suggesting that they collectively ignore “Daddy Will Save Us.” Someone on the list sent it to Wintrich, who promptly sent it toBreitbart, fanning the flames even further. Proceeds from the show—tickets cost between $65 and $125—were meant to go to a charity that helped gay veterans. But another liberal media outlet shamed the non-profit from participating, and they said they wouldn’t accept the money. “Oh now look at this,” Wintrich said holding up his laptop. “James Michael Nichols of the Huffington Post is calling me a homo-nationalist.”
He doubled over with laughter.
This was of course the point too. The bigger the protest, the more publicity they would get, and the whole point of the whole thing, about who is entitled to free expression and who isn’t, would be confirmed. The culture wars would have at last flipped sides. Whereas before it was conservatives from the Catholic League protesting Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ,” now it would be liberals protesting drag queens lying in vats of pig’s blood, never mind that they would be protesting not the art or the expression so much as the unapologetically racist and provocative performances.