It’s a real pleasure to be asked to write this guest column for ArtReview. You may be thinking to yourself, ‘Why does Donald care about the artworld? Doesn’t he have a campaign to run? Shouldn’t he be worried about his declining popularity in the primaries?’ First of all, if you think my popularity is declining, look at my poll numbers. I haven’t been this popular since season two of The Apprentice. And second, the truth is, I care about everything. I’m very careful. Just ask my social media guys.
Let me just get this out of the way: I’m not here to get votes. ‘Retail politics’ is for losers. I don’t shop retail anyway, I’m a purely custom-made guy.
Here’s the problem with the artworld today: it doesn’t win any more. And why not? Because New York isn’t its centre. Whose fault is that? Five words: ‘O’ ‘B’ ‘A’ ‘M’ ‘A’. That’s right. Just look at this magazine’s Power 100 list. Personally, I’m above lists. Truly. If I’m not in the No 1 spot on a list it’s because I’m usually higher, like at .5, or zero. But look, after seven years of Obama, who is at the top of the list? The Swiss! Who is at number two? The Chinese! The year Obama was elected Larry was at No 2. (Larry’s a great guy. Good friend. Doesn’t like pink marble though; it’s a weak spot.) Look, if this wasn’t a British magazine, we all know Larry would have been No 1. By the way, I love Damien Hirst. He was first that year. Great artist. Practically the only thing this magazine has ever gotten right. I commissioned him to do a self-portrait and he came up with Golden Calf (2008). Hirst gets me.
But it’s as I’ve been saying all along: the New York artworld doesn’t win any more. And if New York can’t win, then America can’t win. And if we can’t win in the artworld of all places, we can’t win the world. Period. End of story. That’s why I’m running for president. To win the world.
So how do I plan to make the New York artworld great again? Easy.
First I’ll build a wall around Manhattan to keep out all of the Brooklynites. Let’s face it, Brooklyn is ruining it for everyone. When Brooklyn sends its artists over here, they’re not sending their best. Their not sending guys like Jeff Koons. They’re sending artists that have lots of problems. You know the type. Whiny art school grads who hate the market because they can’t sell anything – it’s very sad; they’re Bernie Sanders voters. Or they have problems with straight-leg jeans and visible upper-lips. They’re bringing ‘provisional painting’ and bag-lady fashion. They think museums are for slumber parties. They’re Marxists. We don’t want them here.
Second, these guys at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. They’re idiots. They’re falling all over themselves to win big consignments. They negotiate with guarantees and end up giving away all of their profits. They’re in bed with the Chinese. It’s disgraceful. No one over there knows how to do business. Not like me. So, I’m going to open Trump International Auctions. Only in New York. You have to come here to get it. I’ll get the best art and the highest prices. You know I will. I’ll slap a Trump sticker on every work and BOOM! – instant premium. I’ll start with a White House estate sale. It’ll be a reality show too. I’ll get that funny little man with the bald head and glasses to host. What’s his name? That’s right. Jerry Saltz. It’ll be a hit. Like Antiques Roadshow, but for winners.
Finally, regulation. That’s right. Now normally I think regulation is bad. Very bad. But everyone knows there isn’t enough regulation in the artworld. It’s the ‘Wild West’, they say (only because they haven’t been to Trump Alamo International – now that’s the real Wild West; no one remembers the Alamo like Trump). Anyway, it’s bad for business. It’s bad for America. So when I’m President, I’m going to regulate the SHIT out of the artworld.
It’ll be beautiful.
This article first appeared in the March 2016 issue of ArtReview.