The Presidential Cabinet was originally created in 1986, as a kind of social commentary, upon the undemocratic excesses enacted during the term of then President Ronald Reagan. It seemed appropriate to me, during the present disastrous reign of Donald Trump, to take a renewed look at these images that seem more apt than ever before.
They were inspired by the satirically and politically acute Calaveras or “skull portraits” of Jose Guadalupe Posada —Mexican 1851-1913. But also as art critic Marco Livingstone has written about them in the foreword to the retrospective catalog Talisman: “These leering skulls, though justifiably horrifying as emblems of corrupt political power, are ‘memento mori’, objects for the contemplation of our mortality. They are reminders of the relentless cycle of life and death of which, like it or not, each of us forms only a tiny part.”