Stallone refused Trump's arts job – but who will take this poisoned chalice?
Source:theguardian Author:Jonathan Jones Date: 2016-12-26 Size:
Sylvester Stallone is not as dumb as he looks……

Sylvester Stallone attends the opening of his show Real Love in France last year, he is not likely to be Trump’s best supporting actor

Sylvester Stallone is not as dumb as he looks. Of course he isn’t – he’s made a career of it. Stallone may be famous for playing action heroes and musclebound fighters, but in real life Rocky loves to draw and paint. He has even exhibited at major museums in Russia and France. He may not be a great painter, but he does plug away at an art he apparently prefers to acting.

A woman looks at the painting The Arena at Sylvester Stallone. Painting. From 1975 Until Today, at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg in 2013.

Now Stallone has, according to reports, been sounded out for a top arts role, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, by the soon-to-be-upon-us Trump administration. Why select Stallone? The National Endowment for the Arts has been a political football before and perhaps appointing Stallone would be a symbolic return to the age when Rambo’s America was pitched against that of Robert Mapplethorpe.

It could also be a combination of pleasing Trump’s voters, giving the liberal arts community a scare – and perhaps even sucking up to Russia. For the most enthusiastic acclaim the actor’s paintings have received was a prestigious one-man exhibition at the State Russian Art Museum in St Petersburg, one of Russia’s great public galleries. You might even see Rambo as an inspiration for Vladimir Putin’s physique.

But Stallone has politely let it be known that he would not accept such a role, and would rather be given a job helping veterans – in so doing, he shows he is wiser than all the conservatives rushing to embrace the president-elect.

So who might serve as Trump’s supremo of the arts instead? If only Andy Warhol were still alive. Trump’s bestselling business books quote him more than once: “I’ve always liked Andy Warhol’s statement that, ‘Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.’ I agree.” Warhol did actually cosy up to the Reagan administration in the 1980s, or at least was accused of doing so by his fiercest critic, Robert Hughes. In fact it was Warhol’s associate Bob Colacello, editor of his magazine, Interview, who was the real Reaganite. He saw Reagan as a kind of pop artist in politics; perhaps he could see Trump the same way.

One artist who might be thought to have an affinity for this bombastic emperor of kitsch is Jeff Koons. The way Koons appears to celebrate vulgarity might make him a perfect Trumpian, yet he is actually a longstanding admirer of Hillary Clinton and dismissed Trump as being “not suitable” for the presidency. Schwarzenegger is not a fan either; Andrea Bocelli has pulled out of performing at Trump’s inauguration.

Bound to fall in love... Donald Trump and Kanye West.

Trump also admires the minimalist music of Steve Reich, having called the avant garde composer “a great innovator”. In fact it seems he has a lot more feel for music than he does for visual art. The decor and design of Trump Tower are more than enough to reveal his total lack of sensitivity to beauty in art and architecture – but his apparent enthusiasm for a wide range of musicians suggests this does not extend to music. He even used the Rolling Stones, against their will, to soundtrack his campaign trail. And one creative titan of our time who has gone against the flow of disdain is Kanye West. Like Nigel Farage, he has been photographed against a golden backdrop with the president-elect at Trump Tower. Surely this is the solution: West is an all-round self-appointed genius who spans the arts.

Yet anyone he asks would be wise to take Stallone’s lead and say no. I am trying here to understand the thinking of Trump enthusiasts, from journalists to generals, who sign up to work with him or enthusiastically hail his reign. Why can’t they see, like Stallone, that it’s safer to stay away from his hellish kingdom?

Everyone who supports Trump, or even believes things will be OK over the next few years, is soon going to look tragically gullible, utterly corrupt or simply mad. We just have to survive it somehow. Take poor Nigel Farage – his whole life now has become one long wait for another nice Trump tweet about him. Farage will end up humiliated by Trump, and that’s one thing to look forward to. Because the new US president is not a safe bet. Stallone is right to stand well back as the world waits for hell’s president to be inaugurated.

[Editor] 张艳