In August 2016, a potent, cartoonish, bright orange blob oozed on the cover of Time magazine. Drips of yellow and black leaked down its sides. Just a shouting mouth remained. No, it wasn’t melting plastic, though it was just as toxic.
It was Donald Trump—or, more accurately, a striking illustration of him melting down by visual artist Edel Rodriguez. Over the last four years, Rodriguez has become renowned for his depictions of the U.S. president, completing more than 150 illustrations and 25 covers for Time, Mother Jones, Época, and, perhaps most famously, Der Spiegel. In February 2017, Rodriguez illustrated a Der Spiegel cover featuring President Trump having beheaded the Statue of Liberty. On November 7, 2020, Rodriguez’s most recent cover showed a masked Biden gingerly placing the Statue of Liberty’s head back where it belonged. “Biden restoring the head of the statue seemed to be the best closure for this chapter,” he says.
So what does the satirist do now that Trump is out of office? Fast Company discussed the Trump character Rodriguez built, the power of illustration in politics, and what’s next.