MANHATTAN (CN) — In a night where send-ups of rape, slavery, Native American genocide and Martin Luther King lined the walls, photographs of naked men wearing "Make America Great Again" sports caps hung to the side of a liquor bar draped by the Confederate flag.
Welcome to #DaddyWillSaveUs, a full-frontal assault on political correctness — or perhaps, basic human decency — organized by the group Twinks for Trump, which on Saturday night brought together the two men mainstream America loves to loathe.
The star attractions of the show included Martin Shkreli — nationally vilified for price-gouging AIDS drugs and currently prosecuted on securities-fraud charges — and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, whom Twitter banned over the summer for online harassment.
Gay, British and a committed internet troll, Yiannopoulos capped off the night by frolicking in a bath of mock-pig's blood. He billed the Muslim-baiting performance as a response to the Islamic State-inspired massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
If Trump was "Daddy" that evening, notably absent from the right-wing family was the Republican presidential candidate's running mate Mike Pence, an Indiana governor with an undeniably anti-gay record.
Twinks for Trump had planned to disturb North Brooklyn with the event, but the owner of the Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg sent the group packing to Manhattan's Chelsea art scene days earlier after a profile in Gothamist opened the floodgates of angry messages.
Courthouse News obtained one such email sent to the owner sent with the subject line "Trump, really?"
"Cancel," the message said. "This is an outrage. I'm nauseated."
The Wallplay gallery agreed to host the event in Chelsea on the condition that the organizers did not publicize its name. Visitors learned from a sign posted indoors that 100 percent of the night's proceeds would benefit Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
"WE DO NOT SUPPORT TRUMP," the sign blared. Then, in smaller text, "BUT DO BELIEVE EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES ARTISTICALLY."
And express themselves the artists did — goading black, female, indigenous, Jewish or Muslim people, along with, in their narrative, any uptight liberal who dares to find the displays repulsive, juvenile, offensive or just plain dull.
Almost immediately upon entering the gallery, one finds a triptych of photographs by Gavin McGinnes, the reputed "Godfather of hipsterdom" who co-founded Vice Media, a multibillion-dollar empire that brands itself upon edgy youth culture.
In each of the three hashtagged works — #AbolishColumbusDay, #SoSorry and #Rape — a white man resembling the artist mimics a marginalized group, wearing a feathered headdress, a slave's shackles, and the ruffled dress of a sexual-assault victim. McGinnes, who left Vice and now hosts his own independent podcast, explained in a video describing his work that one of the pieces shows him "pretending to give a shit" about "obvious virtue-signaling."
A similar dynamic is at play in another work by a different artist featuring Dr. King wearing a Trump hat, with a McDonald's emblem in the bottom left corner. The implied satire of commercialism provides a mask to debase a legendary civil-rights icon.