One of the first works you see in Martha Rosler’s exhibition If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ve!! is a dark and ominous portrait of Donald Trump. Leaning against a wall, the Trump tableau sits behind three glass bottles filled with urine. Is the piece a biting comment on Trump’s pissant Republican presidential campaign? Is it a playful but terrifying foreshadowing of his future official White House portrait?
Andrew Castrucci’s Untitled (Donald Trump) is neither. A quick glance at a nearby wall label confirms Castrucci’s Trump was painted in 1986. Created well before Trump’s presidential ambitions, Castrucci’s work instead critiques Trump as a reckless developer gobbling up large swaths of New York and Atlantic City real estate. As relevant then as it is now, Untitled (Donald Trump) reveals the uncanny confusion between the past and present that runs rampant throughout Rosler’s overstuffed exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash.