Brian Andrew Whiteley
Brian Andrew Whiteley (born 1983) is a visual artist and curator based in New York City.
Whiteley's artistic practice incorporates various mediums including sculpture, video, and new media. Working primarily as an investigatory performance artist, he is best known for his large-scale, interactive projects meant to manipulate media outlets through incitement and provocation. His specific series have delved into pop culture, product marketing, sexual fetishes, relationship identifiers, film satire, gender roles, and cultural stereotypes.
In 2016, Whiteley gained public notoriety through his controversial and widely publicized Trump Tombstone.
The 500-pound gravestone dedicated to Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump was originally uncovered in the early hours of Easter Sunday in New York City's Central Park. The stone read "Made America Hate Again" and listed Trump, Donald J in sharp letters. Although it was taken down in a matter of hours, the work sparked a media circus and criminal investigation. While images of the work circulated on social media and police searched for the culprit, the artist remained at large for nearly two months taunting investigators with anonymous televised and published interviews affirming the work as parody in opposition to the Trump campaign.
After an extensive investigation by the Secret Service and the NYPD, Whiteley was revealed as the creator of the Trump Tombstone. The Secret Service and NYPD interrogated the artist in his home, profiling him as a potential presidential assassin. He was eventually cleared of all charges and was allowed to pick up the tombstone from the NYPD evidence locker.
Clowns and Bigfoot
In 2013, Whiteley began an ongoing series of public performances, sculptures, and installations that comment on American pop culture phenomena through various characters such as clowns and Bigfoot. Through these various personas, Whiteley explored how the media substantiates works of art and how far can he can push them on coverage.
Whiteley is the founder of Miami's annual SATELLITE Art Show.
- Ben Yakas (27 March 2016) http://gothamist.com/2016/04/02/trump_tombstone_central_park.php#photo-1 Archived 2016-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, Gothamist.
- Melena Ryzik (10 May 2016) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/arts/design/artist-behind-donald-trump-gravestone-in-central-park-steps-forward.html?_r=0, "The New York Times."
- Emily McDermott (20 July, 2016) http://www.artnews.com/2016/07/20/matters-of-life-and-death-brian-whiteley-retrieves-his-trump-tombstone-from-the-nypd/, "ArtNews."
- http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/29/world/politics-diplomacy-world/make-america-hate-mock-trump-tombstone-pulled-central-park/#.WAerEZMrLSA, "Japan Times", 29 March 2016.
- Jonathan Zhou (28 March, 2016) http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2005783-donald-trump-tombstone-removed-from-central-park/, "The Epoch Times."
- Annemarie Kammerlander (11 May 2016), "ARD German TV."
- Emmanuelle Jardonnet (12 May 2016) http://www.lemonde.fr/arts/article/2016/05/12/brian-andrew-whiteley-ou-l-art-en-trump-l-il_4918302_1655012.html, "Lemonde."
- Margaret Stakkestad (28 March 2016) http://www.tv2.no/a/8167983/, "TV2 Denmark."
- Anneliese Cooper (4 March 2015) http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1110632/clowns-pin-ups-and-packing-peanuts-9-must-sees-at-springbreak, "Artinfo."
- Christopher Robbins (3 October 2016) http://www.villagevoice.com/news/nypd-claims-creepy-clowns-do-not-pose-existential-threat-to-nyc-9180412, "Village Voice."
- Michael Anthony Farley (23 October 2015) http://artfcity.com/2015/10/23/announcing-f-a-g-and-a-new-artist-run-art-fair-in-miami/, "Art F City."