spacer Donald Trump
Modern Myths: The Fall of Icarus
Donald Trump born 1946

Sorel's exuberant line in this drawing can make one smile before the humor hits home. The near-bankruptcy of real estate tycoon Donald Trump in 1990 symbolized to many the close of the roaring 1980s. Tabloids delighted in such headlines as "Trump in a Slump," and "UH-OWE." Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump's net worth by two-thirds, and his creditors imposed a humiliating monthly allowance on him. Although Trump's mythic successes had once suggested a Midas touch, Sorel now saw him as a modern Icarus flying too high, with his cash-feathered wings melting away. Here this allusion is heightened by Sorel's expressive detail: pulsating rays of the sun, the flying hair and clothes of a downward plunge, and a sharp corner of one of Trump's landmark possessions, the Plaza Hotel.

Ink, 1990
Original illustration for The Nation, July 16, 1990
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Edward and Nancy Sorel
© Edward Sorel

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