Ashley "Illma" Gore (born 2 March 1992) is an Australian-American artist, who lives and works in Los Angeles. As a gender fluid and feminist performance artist, Gore's work is based around political topics and the physical self, the significance and importance placed on the human body.
Illma Gore rose to prominence in 2013 with her work Marriage Equality when she used her skin to broadcast the message "my shirt didn't match my rights" by riding topless through Brisbane in response to Tony Abbott's comments demeaning same-sex marriage.
In 2015, she launched another project, Human Canvas which allowed people to use her body as a medium, by sending her names and messages that she tattooed onto her body to create a one of a kind original art piece that could not be sold in a gallery or recreated. It is unfinished and has 3,000 strangers' stories, including marriage proposals, love letters, and remembrances of lost loved ones. It is a long term project only exhibited every 5 years where the artist will stand naked in a gallery for a month so that people can watch as the art ages and eventually fades away.
She painted American presidential candidate Donald Trump in early 2016 with a small penis, in a piece titled Make America Great Again. This was inspired by the prejudices she says people hold unconsciously about the idea of masculinity which apparently inspired Marco Rubio's insinuation about Trump's "small hands." For sharing her painting of Trump on Facebook, Gore was banned from the site and subject to a DMCA from an anonymous third-party copyright owner. She decided to make the work publicly available and free of charge after being publicly assaulted. The piece eventually went on display at Maddox Gallery in Mayfair, London, after galleries in the US refused to host the piece due to threats of violence from Trump supporters. Gore said: “The reaction, especially in the UK, has been incredibly supportive. Everywhere apart from America has been great.”
Several other artworks referencing Trump having a "micro penis" appeared during the election, including Trump Highway being vandalized with the words "Micro Penis" some weeks after Gore's painting was shared on social media, and The Wieners Circle serving three-inch hotdogs as "Trump Footlongs". In August 2016, the Indecline art collective installed micro-penis Trump statues entitled "The Emperor Has No Balls", in five different states. The artists credited Gore's work as an inspiration.
In June that year, Gore erected a white picket fence on the Mexico/Arizona border, as a "peaceful protest art piece" in response to Donald Trump's pledge to build a wall between the two countries.
In January 2017, a group of artists headed by Gore began work on a piece of art painted in human blood, protesting against the inauguration of Donald Trump. More than 20 pints of blood were donated by artists, musicians and activists for the work.
- "Topless Lesbian Rides CBD". triplem.com.au. Australia: Triple M LocalWorks. 23 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
Ashley Gore known as 'Illma' in the arts scene, is the daughter of late property developer and loud mouth Mike Gore.
- Jones, Kevin L. (29 March 2016). "License to Illma: Naked Trump Portrait Gets Artist Banned from Facebook, eBay". kqed.org. California: KQED-FM. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
... Los Angeles-based artist Ashley “Illma” Gore has learned the power of posting a painting with a prominent penis on the Internet.
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- Eleventh Republican Party presidential debate, March 2016 in Detroit, Michigan
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- Gore, Illma (7 May 2016). "Illma Gore: 'If anyone is going to be threatened by a small penis, it's Trump'" – via The Guardian.
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- "Los Angeles Artist Creates Blood Painting in Protest of Donald Trump".