Chris Buzelli and Playboy Prove Prophetic
With two weeks to go until the election, the season is beginning to wind down (It is! We promise!). The polls have settled and votes are already being counted with Early Voting in full effect, and pundits are already looking back to see how the country fared through the last 18 months, a record for an election. Hot Takes and audacity were on full display for the whole country as we grappled through the issues both savory and not. Back in June, icon of all things indulgent, Hugh Hefner took on the conservative “fanatical fixation” with the private sexual lives of common citizens. Playboy, Hefner’s magazine, obviously ran the editorial and asked Chris Buzelli to bring the issues Hefner discusses to life.
Far be it for us to make judgments either way, but in his letter, Hefner tracks how the conservative movement has become obsessed with the role that sex plays in daily life – often exploding it from a piece of a person’s experience to the focus of it. It’s something of a projection magnification, and that’s the theme that Chris dove into for his painting. The classic Republican icon, the elephant, is seen in an ill-fitting suit (similar to the sizing that Ted Cruz prefers) covered in stains with deflated ears and an American flag pin. In his trunk he holds a naked woman who is dwarfed by her captor, and his bulging eyes (whose pupils reflect something of a Christian gaze) are locked to her tiny, exposed frame. His mouth hangs open, drooling, revealing a line of tiny, but very sharp teeth. It's at once dangerous and lewd.
The image that Chris has created is appropriately off-putting and alarming, and even though he created the painting early in the summer, it has become of special significance of as late considering the recent developments in the presidential campaign. As we look back at the discourse we’ve shared over this election it’s often the images that stay with us the longest, and Chris’ is one that is at once prophetic and shamefully distilling.
Just two more weeks until it’s all over!