Trump’s image has echoed around the globe—in graffiti, branding and galleries—capturing the anxiety and triumph that has surrounded him as candidate and president.
As the Year of the Rooster approached late last year, a shopping mall in China’s Shanxi province boasted a giant chicken sculpture inspired by Trump, which became a backdrop for countless selfies and family photos. While many in China see Trump’s isolationist tendencies as a promising sign that he might avoid intervention in the South China Sea, Trump has also blamed China for stealing American jobs and vowed to label it a currency manipulator.
The American president is inevitably a character known far beyond our own borders, and Donald Trump is more of a character than most. His relentless self-branding, distinctively sculpted orange hair and trademark stump gestures have struck a chord with people around the world, from Russians thrilled at his support for Vladimir Putin to Latin Americans who recognize his posturings from their own authoritarian leaders. For months, Trump’s image has echoed around the globe—in graffiti, branding and galleries—capturing the sense of anxiety and triumph that has surrounded him as candidate and president.
Street art is common, even encouraged, in Malta. And on the small country’s eastern coast, Czech graffiti artist Chemis gave a crumbling wall new life during the campaign with this mural in which a young boxer appears to have punched through Trump’s head. “That little American boxer [was to remind the] American people to fight back for their children,” Chemis told Politico Magazine, “but we know how it all ended.”
Each year, the Edenbridge Bonfire Society creates larger-than-life effigies of public figures for a bonfire commemorating Guy Fawkes Day. Last year, artists Frank Shepherd and Andrea Deans picked Trump, who polls poorly in Britain overall, despite his early efforts at friendship with Prime Minister Theresa May.
The Spanish have, for the most part, been wary of Trump. The left-wing mayor in Barcelona—where this caricature of Trump was painted—went as far as calling on her Twitter followers to “join forces in literal defense of life[,] democracy and human rights” on Election Day.
It would be an understatement to call the relationship between Trump and Mexico contentious. Local artists have highlighted that with work across the country—like this anti-Trump graffiti that adorned an embankment of the Rio Grande over the summer in Ciudad Juárez, at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In the days after Trump’s inauguration, a Portuguese London-based artist known as Furia ACK channeled his frustrations about the new U.S. administration into a mural in London’s East End. Moments after the painting was finished, passersby began discoloring it with eggs. Furia ACK told a British news site that this was exactly the type of interactive art he hoped to create—“a symbol of discontent.”
Many Italians see Trump as the American version of Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant media tycoon turned prime minister. In late October, artist Dario Gambarin remade a cornfield outside Verona into a colossal portrait of Trump. “In Italy, we say ‘ciao’ to say hello and goodbye,” Gambarin told Inside Edition. “I am saying hello if he becomes president and goodbye if he doesn’t.” Trump, he added, “would not make a good president.”
The Carnival of Viareggio, an annual Mardis Gras parade hosted by the Tuscan city of Viareggio, is traditionally celebrated with giant papier-mâché floats depicting caricatures of popular characters and politicians. This year, parade floats featured elaborate masks of Trump and Hillary Clinton.
In the days after Trump’s election, a souvenir shop sold politically satirical merchandise in Jerusalem’s Old City, including items depicting Trump as a Hasidic Jew and Barack Obama donning a kaffiyeh. Israelis, on the whole, preferred Hillary Clinton in the election, but Hasidic Jews have expressed approval of Trump’s alignment with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the fact that his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism.
Wooden rackets for the game battledore were displayed at a doll showroom in Tokyo in December. Among the figures depicted here, aside from Trump, are Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Mr. Trump is very popular ahead of his inauguration,” an executive at the rackets’ manufacturer told Agence France-Presse. “We want him to hit back the bad luck and make the world great.”
Outside of a barbecue restaurant in the capital city of Vilnius, a mural was painted depicting Putin and Trump sharing a passionate kiss—an allusion to a Berlin Wall painting of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German General Secretary Erich Honecker. Shortly after completion, the painting was vandalized.
The artist, Mindaugas Bonanu, then revised the painting to show Putin and Trump sharing a joint. While Bonanu calls the two leaders “tyrants,” he praises the United States for increasingly legalizing marijuana.
In Mexico City, graffiti denounced Trump on the day of his inauguration.
Nairobi-based artist Evans Yegon became known for his vibrant portraits of President Barack Obama, beloved by Kenyans because of his father’s roots there. But Yegon has since turned to Trump, “an interesting character.” “I painted him because he’s hated and he’s loved,” the artist told an interviewer. “I did not expect him to be the president. It was a shock. But now we have to deal with him for four years. We have to love him.”
In Russia, where Trump’s friendliness with Putin has been well-received, Trump has begun to appear in commercial contexts, including on a commemorative smartphone case released shortly after his election and on sugar boxes at a supermarket in the city of Tula.
The Cyrillic words at the center of this painting of Trump and Putin in Belgrade read “Kosovo is Serbia,” a nod to Serbia’s, and Russia’s, refusal to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty. Trump’s candidacy has renewed enthusiasm for the United States among Serbia’s ultranationalists, many of whom see him as an ally in their opposition to globalization.
A mural reading “Todos somos migrantes” (“We are all migrants”) in Tijuana sits close to the U.S.-Mexican border.
Months after pro- and anti-Trump protesters clashed violently in São Paulo, displeased demonstrators returned to the streets on the day of his inauguration. Although former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attacked Trump days before the election for what she called “neo-fascist proposals,” the centrist current president, Michel Temer, has appeared receptive to Trump; when the two spoke by phone in December, they agreed to bolster U.S.-Brazil business relations.
In September 2015, two months after Trump had used his announcement speech to declare that Mexico was sending drugs, crime and rapists to the United States, people congregated around Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument to protest the candidate.
Nepali artist Sunil Sigdel debuted the painting “Peace Owner’s II” at the India Art Fair in New Delhi earlier this year, rendering Trump, Putin and (in a third, unpictured panel) North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the traditional Nepali painting style known as Paubha, often used to depict gods. To many Indians, Trump’s friendly relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appointment of two high-ranking Indian-American officials in his administration point to a promising relationship. Sigdel’s work glorifies Trump, Putin and Kim “to the status of Gods,” the artwork’s curator told an Indian news outlet. “But the satire is that the fly is sitting on them.”