Prolific illustrator of president Trump Edel Rodriguez is to host the first gallery exhibition of his political magazine covers in collaboration with creative agency Wieden+Kennedy this month. Here is a motion graphic of Edel Rodriguez's new piece, which will debut at the 'Agent Orange' exhibition.
Edel Rodriguez has risen to global recognition in the past two years, as his brutal illustrations of President Trump appeared on big-name publications such as TIME, The New York Times, the New Yorker, Der Spegiel and Newsweek among others – capturing the attention of other media outlets, including ourselves, intrigued to see how Edel uses a few brushstrokes and a limited colour palette to create powerful messages.
It seems only apt that he'll be showcasing many of his notable covers (spanning from the 2016 presidential primaries through to today) and those that received widespread use for the women’s march over the weekend, in an exhibition dubbed 'Agent Orange' on January 25 in Wieden+Kennedy Portland. It’s the first exhibition to showcase Edel’s artwork and magazine covers of president Trump.
Image: "I like the Der Spiegel 'America First' cover (seen here)," says Edel. "It was something I did as a gut reaction to the news of the Muslim ban. I made it, and posted it online. A few days later, the concept was picked up and published by the magazine. It reverberated around the world, and has been my most impactful image. I like its bluntness."
"About a year ago, I began envisioning that this work might be collected in a book. The title that came to my mind for such a book was 'Agent Orange', a toxic orange chemical in the body of a Russian agent. The book will hopefully come one day, though for now we have the show," says Edel.
His latest cover of TIME magazine will coincide with the exhibition, and the one year anniversary since president Trump was sworn into the White House (seen here). A new piece will be debuted at the exhibition as well (seen above), among numerous Trump illustrations produced in large scale.
A limited run of 100 signed fine-art prints will be sold at the gallery for US$200 each, with profits benefiting the refugee rescue organisation, Proactiva Open Arms.
"Like many, I find myself so enthralled with his work, as each new piece is a direct response to news events or quotes made by Trump.
"The one-year anniversary of his inauguration seemed like the right moment to share these boldly iconic illustrations as a complete body of work," says Wieden+Kennedy art producer, who has worked with Edel previously.
Edel Rodriguez grew up in Cuba before relocating to the US during the Mariel boatlife crisis in the 1970s. He was just eight years old. He was also a designer and art director at TIME magazine in 1994.
Edel says politics and migration have been potent his entire life – and art is a way to deal with them.
"I sensed Trump was a danger to our country and felt a need to inform people during the primaries," he told us in an earlier interview.
"I grew up in a dictatorial system in Cuba and saw some of the similar behaviours here. Having that experience, I felt it was my responsibility to warn people about the dangers posed by this candidate. Magazines caught on to the work I was doing and began hiring me to do their covers. Through those platforms my work was then seen by millions of people."
To learn more about Edel’s creative process, and his passion to illustrate in the realm of social justice, see our interview.
For more Trump magazine cover illustrations, see the work of Jon Berkeley for The Economist, David Plunkert for the New Yorker and others .
Otherwise check out more of his recent illustrations in this feature.