The Artist Whose Minimalist Trump Became A World Icon

edel rodriguez trump illustrations

You may not know him by name, but you know Edel Rodriquez’ artwork. His minimalist iterations of an eyeless orange Trump with yellow hair clad in black suit and red tie have become an internationally recognizable icon. Gracing the covers and editorials of TIME, The Economist, Der Spiegel and other magazines worldwide, Rodriquez has effectively created a visual archive of Trump’s four years in office.

Little editor’s note here: We’ve been a fan of Edel Rodriguez’ long before he ever created his iconic Trump,  we featured him and his beautiful illustrations for Mohawk’s Loop Paper catalog here way back in 2007.

Edel Rodriguez Trump Illustrations

Edel Rodrigues cover art for Der Speigel

When the cover of German magazine Der Spiegel featured his illustration of an eyeless President Trump holding the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty alongside the headline “America First” in February 2016, little did the Cuban born artist know that he would earn the nickname “Trump’s most hated artist.” The controversial cover was reprinted everywhere and Edel’s minimalist Trump was introduced to the world. Now Liberals everywhere share his art with a giggle as the Radical Right curse every image.

An exhibition of Edel Rodriguez' Trump artwork in Berlin, 2018
An exhibition of Edel Rodriguez’ Trump artwork in Berlin, 2018

The Cuban artist and graphic designer’s magazine covers and artwork featuring Trump have turned the image into an internationally recognizable icon. Berlin’s Ministerium for Illustration even exhibited an entire show of Edel’s Trump art aptly titled Freedumb.

Edel Rodriguez Berlin Exhibition poster

Best known for magazine covers, below are some of his most controversial for TIME magazine and Der Spiegel magazine.

Edel Rodriguez TIME magazine covers

Der Speigel Trump covers

Regarding his minimalist rendering of the 54th President, Rodriguez explained on Twitter that “for many of my graphic images I do a full line drawing to work out the shapes and proportions. I then remove all of the line work because who wants to look at that face?”

sketch and final trump by edel IIHIH

While you may be familiar with the aforementioned, he’s also created international book covers, posters, fine art and editorial art featuring Trump’s follies and farces – all in his inimitable style.

edel rodriguez ce ne pas un president

edel rodriguez book covers
two book covers featuring Rodriguez’ Trump
Edel Rodriguez' Fine Art
Some of Edel Rodriguez’ Fine Art features Trump as well.

Even Edel’s own holiday cards feature his famous icon:
Edel Rodriguez Trump holiday cards

Below are several editorial images of his minimalist Trump regarding the Coronavirus, Racism, Running against Biden and Overall Stupidity since 2016.

covid trump art

edel rodriguez trump covid art
Some Trump Coronavirus art
edel-rodriguez trump golf
Trump’s immigration policy
racist trump art
Some Racist Trump art

trump vs biden edel rodriguez art

edel rodriquez trump v biden art
Some Trump vs Biden art

stand in the middle of fifth ave art

trump stupidity art
Some of the many wonderful images by Rodriguez illustrating Trump’s general stupidity

trump dumpster fire

edel rodriguez editorial art
More general Trump stupidity

About the artist (from his website):
Edel Rodriguez is a Cuban American artist who has exhibited internationally with shows in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Spain. Inspired by personal history, religious rituals, politics, memory, and nostalgia, his bold, figurative works are an examination of identity, cultural displacement, and mortality.

edel rodriguez, photo by christopher gregory
edel rodriguez, photo by christopher gregory

Edel Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1971. He was raised in El Gabriel, a small farm town surrounded by fields of tobacco and sugar cane. In 1980 Rodriguez and his family boarded a boat and left for America during the Mariel boatlift. They settled in Miami where Rodriguez was introduced to and influenced by American pop culture for the first time.  Socialist propaganda and western advertising, island culture and contemporary city life, are all aspects of his life that continue to inform his work.

In 1994, Rodriguez graduated with honors in painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. In 1998, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Manhattan’s Hunter College graduate program. Throughout his career, Rodriguez has received commissions to create artwork for numerous clients, including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, and many other publications and book publishers. Rodriguez’s artwork is in the collections of a variety of institutions, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., as well as in numerous private collections.

edel rodriguez trump prints
Prints of some of his artwork are available by contacting him directly

all images courtesy of the artist and his social media

Edel Rodriguez

• Edel sells mugs, tees and more featuring his Trump art here
• Follow him on Twitter @edelstudio
• Follow him on Instagram @edelrodriguez
Edel Rodriguez Fine Art