focussing on donald trump, jack daly’s lens questions the american dream
From an image of Jack urinating on Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star to a coffee cup with Trump’s name on it, we caught up with the tongue-in-cheek photographer to talk humour, politics, and why it’s so important to always be yourself.
After moving from rural England to LA, Jack Daly has been fascinated by by the individuals he's met along the way, or observed through mainstream media. The 23-year-old's work is largely based around fictional characters but for his latest series, amongst the likes of Ronald MacDonald, Stormtroopers and Star-Spangled Banner wavers, the caricature that is presidential hopeful Mr. Donald Trump, was too good to miss. From an image of Jack urinating on Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star to a coffee cup with Trump's name on, it's controversial but all very tongue-in-cheek. With Election Day looming large, we caught up with Jack to talk humour, politics, and why it's so important to always be yourself.
What is it you're trying to do with your art?
I try to keep things humorous and positive. I don't really have strong opinions or a personal point of view I'm trying to get across, but more things that make me laugh with what's going on in the world. I'm fascinated by characters rather than real life so I guess I try to tell stories that I find interesting, using themes and props that make things feel more fiction than reality.
What's the concept behind your latest series?
I grew up with American accents dominating most of the movies I watched, so it was quite interesting heading straight to Hollywood and observing it all. There's some pieces about stereotypical LA and the US in general, as well as some that were just documenting experiences with people I've met. I like to keep most of my work spontaneous and low key, I'm not a very technical photographer so my photos are traces of things I've done, usually with just me and the subject rather than 10 people behind camera and tons of Photoshop. The US is also going through some sort of election, so I made a few pieces with my naïve British viewpoint on the whole thing.
Should all art be political?
I don't think so. My work revolves around characters that stand out to me that I can use to tell a story or make something funny. Usually they're fictional but The Donald lends himself very well as a subject. Which is what makes the whole situation so terrifying, because, he is in fact a real human being that might have a lot of power and not a funny character in a Scorsese movie.
What would it mean to you if Trump became the next President?
It would probably stop me being able to move to California unless I duck tape myself to the bottom of a 747. As much as he could mess up the whole of the states, I just fear for humanity that he's got this far. That being said there's always a positive, if he does win, there's going to be no shortage of art based around him.
What's the bravest thing you can do as a young person?
Be yourself, I think not caring about what anyone thinks of you and being the most amazing version of yourself is one of the hardest things to do, and I admire anyone who has fully mastered it, if they exist.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Jack Daly