The Godfather of Politics: Tony Puryear’s Gankstas! Pops Up

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Who doesn’t like The Godfather. Or The Sopranos? Now the Trumps, these mooks might be a different story.

In Tony Puryear’s gankstas! Know Your Thug, an online-series of political portraits skewers what may be America’s least-loved crime family, the Trump syndicate – a.k.a. government administration. Here, images of the Trump “crime family” are the subject. Along with the portraits come all-too-trenchant amusing dossiers that list each member’s crimes. Limited edition prints of select images from this series take center stage at Jason Vass this weekend, in a pop-up that opens Saturday and runs through Sunday.

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Also included: Puryear’s 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign poster, an iconic image inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery; protest and political art from Vass’ personal collection, a painting of Trump from Italian artist Stefano Panichi, and a bold Trump-themed work from Los Angeles-based Israeli artist Tslil Tsemet.

BANNON

With Steve Bannon’s words searing Trump’s tattered soul in the release of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, Puryear’s depiction of Bannon couldn’t be more timely.

However, Tony Puryear has been creating his series of satiric political portraits and their accompanying commentary in a lively spirit of resistance since the election. But now, just days prior to the one-year anniversary of Donald “Don Fugazy” Trump’s inauguration, the works are collected in one, in-person, space.

“This art is my hammer, my bell, my song. It’s my march and my sit-in, and in the days since Trump and his cohort of thugs and pickpockets came to power, it’s the work I’m compelled to do,”  Puryear attests.

As both an artist and a writer, Puryear has long created political art, and the Trump family, he felt, cried out for “naming and shaming… In this series, I mean to show their true faces and tell their true stories…” he relates.

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Each of more than 20 prints and paintings are signed and numbered limited editions. Subjects include former and present members of the Trump regime, including Michael “Tovarich” Flynn, Paul “Paulie No-Nuts Ryan,” Steve “Big Pussy” Bannon, Sara “The Huckster” Huckabee Sanders, Ryan “The Other White Meat” Zinke, General John “Blue Falcon” Kelly, and Ivanka “Shorty Bang Bang” Trump – as well as figures of the resistance such as Sally “Maverick” Yates and Robert “Bobby Three Sticks” Mueller.

SESSIONS

As pointed as they are witty, with beautifully detailed, modernist imaging, Puryear’s work here is as epic as a Scorsese classic, and just as intense and visually compelling.

Born and raised in New York, Puryear has received acclaim as an innovative chef, award-winning advertising writer,  and as the co-creator and artist for the graphic novel series Concrete Park from Dark Horse Comics, on which he partnered with writer and political commentator Erika Alexander. Puryear is also a screenwriter, notably of the film Eraser, and currently helming episodes of USA’s Queen of the South. 

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Don’t miss the opening reception this Saturday from 5 to 9, or check out the show from 12-5 Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday.

Jason Vass gallery is located at 1452 E. 6th St., LA, 90021.

A portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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