Artist Illma Gore earned some notoriety about a month ago when she unveiled a pastel pencil drawing of a nude Donald Trump—complete with a notable micropenis—entitled Make America Great Again; this week Gore was in the news again after being attacked by a Trump supporter outside of her Los Angeles home over the work of art.
Gore posted a photo of her bruised face to Instagram along with a description of the attack shortly after the incident. "Today I was punched in the face by a man who got out of his car and yelled, 'Trump 2016!'' Gore said. "Though I encourage passion, opinion and emotion, especially through art, I think violence is disgusting. This type of violence makes creatives feel like we live in a world where our individual creative input isn't safe."
According to Gore, the man jumped back into a black Honda Civic and drove away. A police report has been filed by the artist but there has yet to be any further details about the identity of the attacker.
The specter of potential violence has hung over the Trump campaign for months. The frontrunner for the Republican nomination has built his campaign on speeches filled with fiery rhetoric and on more than a few occasions passions have exploded into violence with protestors during Trump's rallies. In her Instagram comments Gore contends that this laissez-faire attitude towards violence by Trump and his followers contributed to her attack.
"I am sad that Trump, and many of his supporters, don't find words enough to express their opinions—they need walls, waterboarding and punches," Gore said. "@RealDonaldTrump, please stop glamorizing and perpetuating violence. Make America Decent Again."
What Gore experienced should send a chill down your spine. We live in a country where artistic expression is an important enough value that we made sure to protect it in the very first item of the Bill of Rights. When artists are being physically attacked for their work, especially when that work lampoons a person of power, it is imperative that people speak up and make sure that his aggression does not go unpunished. Gore's attacker needs to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.