Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
July 10, 2017

Putin, G20 & Other Bodies: Our Social Media Roundup

Protesters take part in the 1,000 Gestalten (1,000 Figures) demonstration ahead of the G20 summit Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

Our roundup this week is all about posturing. The Trump-Putin body language at the G20 Summit scored the most attention, but physical acts and positions were striking everywhere we looked. That applied as much to the brilliant march of the zombie protesters to Putin’s more overt seduction of Melania at the G20 banquet to the sexist framing of Angela Merkel’s compatriot greetings. Ivanka’s visit to the Warsaw Ghetto, a make-up for her father’s snub, as well as her choice of photo to emphasize it, were both about the gesture. Also, the Christie and Pence “No Go’s” were blatant physical declarations that leaders are simply above us. If you didn’t see our post on Abdalla Omari’s paintings, they are also about that remarkable presumption — and its artistic removal. Finally, Kim and his physical joy over North Korea’s historic ICBM test gave the American hot dog eating contest a run for its money as July 4th spectacle.

Abdalla’s Trump works on a lot of levels. Casting him as impoverished emphasizes how alien the shiny, coiffed and corpulent Trump truly is from his struggling followers, and that bag is nothing you’d find on the arm of an alpha male. The most political allusion, though, is the drawing. Whether intended or not, it’s a biting reference to Trump’s stated motivation for April’s Syrian air strike. Remembering how Trump was moved by photos of gassed Syrian children, the skeptical painting frames that empathy — in this endless crises, now compounded by his travel ban — as arbitrary, or largely for display. ⠀ ⠀ Reposting @abdalla.al.omari:⠀ …⠀ “#Repost @ayyamgallery ・・・⠀ Join us for Abdalla Al Omari’s solo exhibition ‘The Vulnerability Series’ opening this Monday, 22 May at 7pm at Ayyam Gallery Dubai (12 Alserkal Avenue). ________________⠀ Image: ‘Donald’, 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 190 x 150 cm⠀ #abdallaalomari #alserkalavenue #ayyamgallerydubai #ayyamgallery #trumppoverty #trumpart #politicalart

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Photo: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters. Caption: Protesters take part in the 1,000 Gestalten (1,000 Figures) demonstration ahead of the G20 summit.

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