Portland gallery takes down controversial Trump artwork from window

Controversial artwork was on display at Portland, Ore., gallery. (KATU viewer-submitted photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) - A Portland art gallery has taken down a controversial image depicting the beheading of President Donald Trump.

One Grand Gallery on East Burnside Street had the image up in its window, but has since removed it after the gallery says it received threats of violence.

Gallery organizers said proceeds from the exhibition are going to nonprofit groups that have lost funding under the Trump administration.

The artist who created the piece says the intention was to provoke thought.

"It should provoke your mind -- even if it makes you uncomfortable -- it should be thought-provoking," artist Compton Creep said.

The image of the president with a knife to his throat, bleeding, with the words "(expletive) Trump" became the centerpiece for an exhibition.

"It's just art, man. If you don't like it, don't look at it. If you dig it, cool," Creep said.

The gallery put the image on its front window, facing the busy intersection of Northeast 10th Avenue and East Burnside Street. Since then, it has sparked a firestorm.

"It's silly," Creep said of the response to his piece. "Just like, you should be paying more attention to everything else in your existence -- not someone's art."

The owner of the building tells KATU News that as soon as he found out about the image, he told the gallery it had 12 hours to remove the image, or it was in breach of its lease.

Dozens have made their way to the gallery to see the art for themselves.

"This, to me, was just too much. I'm tired of the hate. This is all I seem to see from people who disagree with Trump, who I think is doing the best he can," one woman, who did not want to be identified, said.

"An apology, I think, would be nice," she continued. "Understanding that there are two parts of Portland and that not everyone agrees with that mentality."

By Tuesday morning, the image was gone and the gallery was empty. It's a move Creep says goes against the point of art.

"I think it was a weak move and I don't think they should have done that. It shows that just by complaining, you can have your way," Creep said.

According to its website, the gallery features works relevant to the central discussion of urban and contemporary artwork.

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