C-SPAN un­veils Trump’s first pres­i­den­tial por­trait

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

It has golden un­der­tones, there’s a def­i­nite twin­kle in the blue eyes and a cer­tain calm de­meanor.

The very first for­mal oil por­trait of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump was made public Wed­nes­day by C-SPAN — “the first por­trait cre­ated since he was elected,” the public af­fairs chan­nel noted.

It will join 44 other pres­i­den­tial por­traits as part of C-SPAN’s “Amer­i­can Pres­i­dents: Life Por­traits” ex­hibit, which has been tour­ing the United States for the past 17 years.

The Trump por­trait was pro­duced by vet­eran North Carolina painter and sculp­tor Chas Fa­gan, the artist be­hind the Reagan statue at Ron­ald Reagan Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Air­port and the of­fi­cial can­on­iza­tion oil por­trait of Mother Teresa. He also painted the rest of the por­traits in the col­lec­tion it­self.

“One of the more chal­leng­ing as­pects of this spe­cific por­trait was Pres­i­den­t­elect Trump’s eyes,” Mr. Fa­gan told C-SPAN.

“In most pho­tos, his eyes are in shadow and dif­fi­cult to see, in part due to his dis­tinc­tive brow line,” the artist said. “But eyes are such a rec­og­niz­able fea­ture, and nec­es­sary to give a por­trait warmth and per­son­al­ity, so I worked to give them a bit more promi­nence. I think the re­sult is that we have a softer look into his face than we of­ten get from public me­dia photography.”

Mr. Fa­gan said he used cam­paign pho­to­graphs as a ref­er­ence for the work. But there were chal­lenges.

“You’d imag­ine that there should be count­less im­ages out there, but the re­al­ity is that public me­dia pho­to­graphs of can­di­dates show frozen ac­tion mo­ments,” he said. “Whereas tra­di­tional por­traits at­tempt to cap­ture con­tem­pla­tive, re­laxed mo­ments.”

The artist found his bear­ings in an un­likely source.

“There are in­nu­mer­able im­ages of can­di­dates seem­ingly con­torted in ex­pres­sion or ges­ture,” he said. “In an on­line ad­ver­tise­ment for an up­com­ing in­ter­view with Mr. Trump, I came across a small still im­age from video. It did not have much de­tail, but it hap­pened to re­veal a more re­laxed ex­pres­sion. And that was the foundation for the paint­ing.”

Mr. Trump, the oil paint­ing, will soon be in­tro­duced to the public. The trav­el­ing ex­hibit will de­but the Trump por­trait at the Wil­liam McKin­ley Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum in Can­ton, Ohio, in late Fe­bru­ary.


The first of­fi­cial oil por­trait of Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump was un­veiled Wed­nes­day by C-SPAN, painted by artist Chas Fa­gan.

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