About a decade after Jim Carrey was “spirited into the forest by a sprite,” he emerged, reborn, as a painter, a pursuit by which he’s been consumed for nearly seven years. Now, he’s positioning himself as the next chronicler of a distinct, and distinctly disturbing, moment in American history, submitting his bid to be the official portrait artist for the reality television host turned president, Donald Trump.
In a tweet posted Thursday, Carrey wrote, “Dear Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery @NPG, I know it’s early but I’d like to submit this as the official portrait of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump. It’s called, ‘You Scream. I Scream. Will We Ever Stop Screaming?’” Attached is a grotesque illustration of the president, bare-chested in a fuzzy blue robe, one finger on his right nipple, holding, in his other hand, an ice cream scoop over a bowl of chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream and maraschino cherries—a nod to that singular Trumpian anecdote in which the president receives more ice cream than any of his dinner guests. (It cannot be coincidental that said bowl of ice cream looks remarkably like a pair of disembodied breasts. A master of subtlety, our Carrey.)
One could certainly do worse as a souvenir of a distinct political moment. Carrey actually has a significant catalog of satirical works featuring the president, if the National Portrait Gallery wants to see a more complete portfolio before coming to a decision. There’s the painting of Trump as a swamp monster, bathing in the toxic runoff of politics; there’s Trump as sickly green Wicked Witch of the West, surrounded by flying monkeys; and, in a particularly N.S.F.W. take, there’s Trump depicted in flagrante delicto with Stormy Daniels, the sensitive parts censored by a presidential seal. Those in Trump’s inner circle haven’t been immune from Carrey’s paintbrush, either: Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. (impaled on elephant tusks in a reference to their penchant for big-game hunting), Steve Bannon, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have all been given artistic makeovers.
The National Portrait Gallery, apparently lacking quite the same subversive spirit as the National Park Service, has yet to respond to Carrey’s overture. So for now, it’s left to us to imagine how a Carrey portrait of Trump might look next to Kehinde Wiley’s much lauded portrait of former president Barack Obama.
Portraits of George Clooney, Elle Fanning, Claire Foy, and More Stars of the 2017 Toronto Film Festival
Andrew Garfeld, Breathe
Claire Foy, Breathe
Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Glenn Close, The Wife
Annie Starke, The Wife
Dominic Cooper, The Escape
Michiel Huisman, Indian Horse
Adèle Exarchopoulos, Racer and the Jailbird
George Mackay, Marrowbone
Bella Heathcote, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
Javier Bardem, mother!
Christoph Waltz, Downsizing
Edie Falco, Outside In
Wim Wenders, director, Submergence
Andy Serkis, director, Breathe
Justine Bateman, director, Five Minutes
Michael Haneke, director, Happy End
Ellen Wong, TIFF Rising Stars
Melissa Leo, Battle of the Sexes
Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project
Miranda Richardson, Stronger
Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Julianne Nicholson, Who We Are Now
Diane Kruger, In the Fade.
Kate Mara, Chappaquiddick
Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace.
Margaret Qualley, Novitiate
Matthias Schoenearts, Racer and the Jailbird.
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri