Smiles wavered

There’s a new art installation in town, a performance art piece by Jennifer Rubell in which Princess Ivanka runs a vacuum cleaner over a carpet.

It seems likely a few smiles wavered inside the White House when the Trump family learned about Rubell’s work. On Tuesday morning, Ivanka tweeted a link to an article about the performance piece and said: “Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter.”

Oh please. She works for the pig who brags about grabbing women by the pussy, and energetically and publicly insults any woman who crosses him. She works for him, defends him against critics, pockets the corrupt and illegal profits. She’s not “building up” any women.

While Ivanka may have tried to take the high ground in relation to the artwork, the fact she chose to respond publicly suggests it hit a nerve. Ivanka is far more restrained than her father and brothers when it comes to social media, and does not normally react to every provocation. She could have let the artwork fade from the news cycle; instead she chose to amplify it. Why?

While the inner workings of Ivanka’s mind are an eternal mystery, one imagines Rubell’s performance piece may have touched upon a particular sore spot with Ivanka: her carefully cultivated relationship with the art world. Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are avid art collectors. Admittedly they sometimes forget this: Kushner failed to mention their multimillion dollar collection in required financial disclosures, despite Ivanka regularly posting pictures of their haul on Instagram. Lawyers defended this omission by stating that the couple’s art collection is purely “for decorative purposes”, rather than an investment.

Is that how that works? So if you have a $20 million house that you think is really pretty you don’t have to include that $20 million on your financial disclosures?

With Donald Trump in the White House, and Ivanka standing staunchly beside him as he enacts regressive policies and spouts inflammatory rhetoric, however, many artists have made it clear they have no interest in being associated with the first daughter. Back in 2016, when progressives still had hope that Ivanka might be a good influence in the White House, the Halt Action Group, founded by Powers, the artist Jonathan Horowitz and other art world figures, started a campaign called Dear Ivanka. The group contacted artists who had featured in Ivanka’s Instagram posts and asked them to challenge the White House adviser on her hypocrisy.

Don’t bother. She’s every bit as sleazy and worthless as the rest of the clan.

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