On October 17, 2019, The White House released an image from a contentious meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump. Trump quickly tweeted the image with the caption “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” and Pelosi responded by using the same photo as her Twitter cover art, writing, “Thanks for the new cover photo realDonaldTrump!”
The image quickly went viral – not only because of the use and subsequent appropriation – but because it fell into the category of #accidentalrenaissance, a designation for images that evoke renaissance-style paintings.
In this episode of Vision Slightly Blurred, Sarah and Allen delve into the ambiguity raised by the dual use of the photos, and talk about other political images that have been even more successful in evoking the #accidentalrenaissance like David Butow’s incredible 2018 image of Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons during the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation hearings.
We mention the following photographers, articles, and websites in this episode:
- Trump tweeted a photo attacking Nancy Pelosi. She made it her Twitter cover photo via CNN
- Pete Souza (@petesouza)
- Shealah Craighead (@shealahdcphoto)
- The White House on flickr
- Donald Trump (T: @realDonaldTrump)
- Steve Mnuchin (T: @stevenmnuchin1)
- Chuck Schumer (T: @SenSchumer)
- Nancy Pelosi (T: @SpeakerPelosi)
- 4 Art Experts Analyze That Historic Nancy Pelosi vs. Donald Trump Photo via Vogue
- Chloe Esslemont, coeditors of the former Twitter account, Tabloid Art History (T: @chloellene)
- Mayanne Soret, coeditor of the former Twitter account, Tabloid Art History (T: @mayannexsrt)
- Angela Mack, executive director and chief curator at The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C.
- FlakPhoto on Facebook
- The Intervention of the Sabine Women
- Andrea Wise (T: @andreawise_)
- News groups blast White House for restrictions on photographers via WashPo
- Behind the Lens: Somewhere Under the Rainbow
- Amanda Lucidon
- bin Laden Situation Room Photo
- The Power of the Situation Room Photograph via NYT
- [Update: Pete Souza contacted us to correct the record after we published the podcast]: What Hillary Was Really Thinking in That Situation Room Photo
- The serious message behind Kim Jong Un’s silly horse photos via Vox
- What Makes and Image Iconic?
- Jonathan Bachman on His Iconic Photo
- Why David Butow’s Image of Jeff Flake Stands Out
Allen incorrectly states Mayanne Soret’s name as “Maryanne.” We regret the error.
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