Artist paints herself having sex with each president of the USA


94 Responses to “Artist paints herself having sex with each president of the USA”

  1. boingaddict says:

    note to self, don’t watch sexual imaginery at work, now im randy, it’s before nine and there is no women at my workplace….men are not that good looking either…..

  2. Hamish MacDonald says:

    I’m just imagining that second-last one. Yeugh! You just know GWB’d be shit in bed. Although he’d probably do whatever you told him to. But then he’d spend all your money on having the neighbours killed.

  3. Boba Fett Diop says:

    But in his younger days–well, I defy you to find a tastier future president in all of American history.

    Teddy Fucking Roosevelt:

  4. Thomas Wincek says:

    “Neo-Marxist power dialectics”

    que trumpet sound:


  5. Maddy says:

    she f*kked Tippicanoe — and Tyler too!

  6. Thomas Wincek says:

    Also, this is nothing like Attila Lukacs work. Neo-Japanese / Kama Sutra style homo-erotic, violent nazi imagery VS. gestural portraiture of very intimate sex? Sorry dude, not seeing it.

  7. TroofSeeker says:

    Anonymous: “…Didn’t you see my series of paintings of me getting it on with the President’s wives?”

    Are Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Bush in there?
    I’m not going there, because some images cannot be erased from one’s memory.

  8. eti says:

    Imagine if these were painted on skateboards!

  9. Trent Hawkins says:

    This is Necrophilia

  10. Anonymous says:

    @9: Well, he was our only *ahem* bachelor president.

  11. Takuan says:

    @86, there is no “double standard”. It’s just that males are expendable.

  12. frankieboy says:

    No one wants to see my crappy sex paintings, if only I had a gimmick!

  13. Lauren O says:

    She’s 24, and so hardly a kid!

    She’s been doing this project for a long time.

    We worked on this graphic novel together over a year ago (which makes this the second time BoingBoing has featured her art), and she was already a good way into it then.

    I think it’s hella tight (and you guys need boyfriends).

  14. Torley says:

    Being with both Bushes is kinda freaky!

  15. Metostopholes says:

    Very cool series, but Millard Fillmore is really creeping me out. (And to a lesser extent John Tyler and U.S. Grant)

    However Van Buren (pictured above), is adorable. ^^

  16. adamnvillani says:

    These paintings are actually really good. the intimacy is refreshing, and I like how she uses impressionistic techniques but still uses realistic proportions and compositions. It makes everything recognizable yet still expressive.

    The artist’s statement does seem a bit pretentious, but I think the paintings stand up well enough on their own. And really, I can see what she’s getting at; it just sounds more pretentious when put into words like that.

    Nice call #9 on her pegging Buchanan… pretty sly.

  17. Kyle Armbruster says:


  18. ohnonichole says:


    classic *whipes tear from eye.*
    sometimes artists are just stupid.

  19. Dedalus says:

    takuan – will u be my pretend girlfriend?
    i’ll dress up like JFK

  20. Anonymous says:

    Very highminded rationalization of a very talented artist with a pretty unusual fetish.

  21. Captain Squiffy says:

    Does the painting of 43 show him leaving a big Cleveland Steamer on Lai’s chest?

    He rogered us all real good.

    Cap’n S

  22. TroofSeeker says:

    After she’s ‘done’ all 44, do you suppose she’ll move on to other world leaders- Margaret Thatcher, Kim Jung Il, Iyatolla Homaini? Or vice presidents- Spiro Agnew? Dick Cheney? Gross!

  23. IamInnocent says:

    Unicorn chaser please.

  24. PeaceNerd says:

    I bet William Henry Harrison wouldn’t last long. SNAP!

  25. jimbuck says:

    Matt D – yeah you would have thought so, but I was expecting it to be more discrete… no idea why, but yes – I should have expected it!!!!!

  26. Boba Fett Diop says:

    What I wonder is why she decided to have Grant spank her- I would have figured she’d save that for Teddy Roosevelt, or at least Andrew Jackson (although I’m betting that “Old Hickory” was actually a pretty hardcore bottom).

  27. 13strong says:

    These are pretty good.

  28. Sean Blueart says:

    I’m feeling so moved by the aesthetic and metaphorical beauty of these, especially after reading her statement.

    I’m noting that some of the positions speak more of an intimate embrace (“power with” another, a union) and others (spanking, blowjob) speak more of a “power over and submission” model of relating.

  29. Ethan says:

    I wonder about the artist’s statement. Is this really why she made the paintings–or did she just want to do the series and felt the need to have some conceptual underpinning to express. Honestly I think the work would be more interesting without the tidy explanation.

  30. Takuan says:

    a few years of barbarian chieftainships. What’s wrong with the Imperial successions?

  31. Mindpowered says:

    I get one impression you don’t. I see one linkage you don’t.

    That’s the beauty of art.

    We get a range of reactions to the image presented.

    Why bother trying to channel the viewer into hackneyed politics?

  32. Brainspore says:

    Think she managed to get a moan out of “Silent Cal?”

  33. semiotix says:

    Let me put in a plug for Rutherford B. Hayes, one of our more obscure presidents. If that name conjures up any image at all, it’s of a pudgy guy with whiskers halfway down to his gut, just like all the other late 19th c. presidents.

    But in his younger days–well, I defy you to find a tastier future president in all of American history.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t you see my series of paintings of me getting it on with the President’s wives?

  35. Sean Blueart says:

    @23 ETHAN

    I feel that she is a true artist and I, speaking as a professional artist, recognize a profound integrity and dignity to both the work and the statement.

    My judgement and my gut tell me that she did not just tack this on to be “controversial” which, she clearly recognizes, can be as degrading as it is useful. She openly owns the possibility of controversy and desires to move beyond it.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Luckily she isn’t taking this too literal. Many of our presidents are dead.

  37. TheCrawNotTheCraw says:

    This is rather brilliant. Instant fame/notoriety, and it involved neither violence nor bad singing.

  38. Sean Blueart says:

    #5 KAIZA : I’m feeling sad and frustrated. Your comment really smacks of misunderstanding and even racism to me.

    This artist, who clearly thought this out and worked very hard to produce these, has put herself in a vulnerable position by using this kind of imagery to make a statement her audience.

    I’d sleep more soundly knowing that this kind of dignity does not get mis-recognized and connected with inconsideration and indignity.

  39. Karl Elvis says:

    That is so utterly fabulous. I think I’m in love with Justine Lai now.

  40. arkizzle says:

    Let me put in a plug for Rutherford B. Haye..

    Oh? Kinky before his time eh? Well we need trailblazers in the world of exploratory sexuality, more power I say! More power!

  41. apennydreadful says:

    This is pretty silly.

    Seems yet another pretentious artist burying perversity in contrived imagery and circuitous academic language to make a point that needs not be made. She hasn’t fooled me through her crafty mention of the “predictably ‘controversial’”; in fact, it’s all I’ve found in this project.

    Frankly, this kind of frivolity is starting to bore me.

  42. Takuan says:

    true, all men who obtain high office ultimately whored their way there, but is it kind to point that out?

  43. Oskar says:

    “Mom, why is that lady giving Abe Lincoln and BJ?”

  44. Cpt. Tim says:

    to compare some of these men to whores, and indeed use whore as a derogatory word, is to insult a legitimate profession.

  45. Takuan says:

    true, true.

  46. Sean Blueart says:


    I so disagree with you. I find this stuff is discreet, powerful, apt, and it has a genuine depth to it.

    I find it weird that you place yourself in a potential victim role as one who is in danger of potentially being deceived. That says to me you allow her some power as an artist and that you may feel real uncomfortable with that.

  47. Ethan says:

    @25 Sean Blueart

    I didn’t say she isn’t an artist… In fact, I think I’m taking her quite seriously as an artist.

    I see from your earlier comment that the artist’s statement made a big impression on you. While I certainly don’t want to take that away from you, I do think that the semi-obligatory artist’s statement more often takes away from a work rather than adds to it.

    It’s of course debatable whether that’s the case for this series of paintings. But personally I found the statement made the work safe for me. I would have preferred the work to be left a little more open-ended in terms of the artist’s intention.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Finally, some fresh material for the Lincoln Money Shot channel…

  49. weaponx says:

    #30 -

    “Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.” -Abraham Lincoln

  50. neverland0 says:

    Art School Confidential was so right, being good isn’t enough, you need to get interesting. She’s doing that.

    The’re are better and more originals ways to be turly controversial and make a statement. I just don’t buy this.

  51. Teller says:

    “The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution…”

    These are fine gestural pieces. Miss Lai herself could become at least an immortal institution.

  52. Sean Blueart says:

    ETHAN, I feel so grateful for your clarification and, in a way I’m in agreement with you. I’ve always struggled with statements vs viewing the work raw. I get the power of “just putting it out there” and letting an audience encounter it without a safety net of understanding and intent.

    I’m judging that she’s
    A. a young artist and is still adjusting her voice / presentation.
    B. is putting it out there with transparency and vulnerability as a principal.
    C. Might be feeling nervous about whether her point is getting across in the way that she intends.

    BTW, David Lynch almost totally destroyed the credibility of his work for me by doing the whole “here’s how to be creative” thing, after years of impenetrable masking and secrecy about his work and methods.

  53. ackpht says:

    You misspelled “Weltanschauung”.

  54. Fiddy says:

    I’m impressed. This is a fascinating project, and she’s not only talented, she’s put out something that is going to generate a lot of discussion, here and elsewhere. I can predict even more controversy if this project results in an exhibit in a meatspace art gallery.

  55. consideredopinion says:

    So does that make the painter the vector for all of George Washington’s STDs to the rest of them?

  56. MrScience says:

    #7: The lights will be off… it will be very minimalistic.

  57. Versh says:

    Warhol once replied “No,shock sells,” in an interview about Pop Art’s increasing emphasis on sexual themes.
    I would clarify perhaps with “Fresh juxtaposition sells,” but whatever floats your boat.

  58. kaiza says:

    @29 (late to the game, I know).

    “Chong presented her work in pornography as an attempt to challenge the settled notions and assumptions of viewers about female sexuality. For example, her conception of a gang bang was based on the example of Messalina, a wife of the emperor Claudius. Historically, Messalina has suffered a poor reputation, a fact that some attribute (at least partly) to gender bias. Chong sought to question the double standard that denies women the ability to exhibit the same sexuality as men, by modelling what a female “stud” would be.”

  59. andreinla says:


  60. Anonymous says:

    EH is right, this is definitely a “rule 34″ thing…..

  61. QuidiVidi says:

    I always enjoy art more before I read the artist’s statement. No matter how hard they try it always comes off sounding pretentious.

    That, and “subvert” is used far too often.

  62. 13strong says:

    “I’d say something about how bad the paintings are as paintings, but I recall that famous saying:

    “You can’t insult a whore.”

    What the fuck?

  63. HOTDAMN says:

    I’m pretty proud that I was only slightly aroused by these paintings

  64. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Great idea and well-done! Only wish the background wasn’t white, but who’s looking at that?!

  65. ill lich says:

    I never aspired to be the President of the United States. . . until now.

  66. pspinrad says:

    Beautiful! Who wants to illustrate a series about beating up every president and then taking Ms. Lai?

  67. Ethan says:

    @37 Sean

    That seems like a pretty good list of possible driving factors for the artist’s statement. I’d add that statements like that were probably required/expected by Lai’s undergrad school.

    To be fair, I did suggest in my original post that the concept was tacked on.

    That a little too simple, though, because I do think it is completely legitimate to discover the meaning of an artwork in the process of making it or reflecting upon it after it is done, “Why was I drawn to make this?” And who knows, perhaps Lai did originate the project by wondering, “How can I humanize the presidents?”

    My reaction was really coming from how pat the statement was. I’m sure all those issues are part of the work–but those are all the clean, safe, intellectual aspects of the work. It would be nice to leave the works’ meaning much more open.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I have a desperate need to be humanized, in person, much more so than any president.

  69. IWood says:

    And yet my oil paintings of me having sex with every Pope, in order, languish in obscurity.

    I even did the antipopes!

  70. Sean Blueart says:

    @#86 : KAIZA ,

    Yes, thanks for the response. I looked up Chong when I read your comment. I disagree with Chong. I don’t see how she’s challenging anything, I read her statement as: If I degrade my sexuality just as much as the men do then I will somehow even the score.

    For me, women are “one up” on the men for not being so corrupt. I have a hard time seeing it as some kind of smart move to equal the balance. I just feel sad about it. It’s kinda like saying ; if you stick pins in a puppy dogs eye, then I can even the score by also sticking pins in a puppy dogs eyes. The argument doesn’t make sense to me.

    There’s something very different about what Lai’s doing; it’s a kind of ontological fantasy for which intimacy is a metaphor for equalizing power and carrying out the “Emperor’s New Clothes” story in a new way.

  71. insomma says:

    She’s 24- give the kid a break. I enjoy the series very much so far. I hope she gets progressively kinkier as she gets into the 20th century.

  72. adonai says:

    I clicked on a few, but I’m so glad I didn’t find (or she hasn’t yet painted) Nixon…I’d have had to claw my eyes out.

  73. 13strong says:

    “It would be nice to leave the works’ meaning much more open.”

    And it is. Just because the artist has elaborated on her motivations for creating the work, doesn’t mean you can’t take what you want from it. It’s not a guessing game.

    “She’s 24- give the kid a break.”

    She’s 24, and so hardly a kid!

  74. Brainspore says:

    OK, one more:

    LBJ = Lai Blowjob?

  75. Anonymous says:

    I guess #34, “I Lick Ike”,isn’t up for display yet.

  76. SamSam says:

    I find the painting of her and Pierce (#14) very beautiful and very real. She very precisely captured the awkwardness (and eroticism) of initial penetration.

    I’m guessing she used someone as a stand-in for the presidents. What a job! Rather better than standing in for the rehearsal of the inauguration ceremony…

  77. franko says:

    ok, so i want to see taft, roosevelt, and kennedy. after that, i’m good.

  78. azaner says:

    Point of order: Does Cleveland get two nonconsecutive encounters?

  79. Anonymous says:

    “I’d say something about how bad the paintings are as paintings, but I recall that famous saying:

    “You can’t insult a whore.”

    One would think that this wouldn’t need to be pointed out…but she isn’t ACTUALLY fucking all of the presidents.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      she isn’t ACTUALLY fucking all of the presidents.

      Or….if she is, we’d like to see a post about her time machine.

  80. HowardsGrl says:

    @6 – that was my first thought exactly too!

    also, i think it is only fair for her to do hillary too! why should she be left out just because she is a woman!

  81. wolfiesma says:

    She’s a fine painter and she’s chosen an interesting subject matter, but it’s her statement that I find the most arresting. “I feel this is the most humanizing thing I can do.” To see sex as a way of humanizing a person you might otherwise have very little connection to, this, I find very intriguing.

  82. Mindpowered says:

    Very reminiscent of Attila Lukacs in the early 1990′s.

    Sean BlueArt, in appears what most readers are reacting to is the gratuitous inclusion of Feminist theory coupled with Neo-Marxist power dialectics.

    To talk of subverting patriarchal authority while giving Lincoln a BJ, is to re-iterate a tired rhetoric, and be deliberately obscurantist.

    The concept is striking, but it loses its impact when the artist tries to channel our thoughts, and it loses even more whenteh attempt is to channel me into such a predictable and tired area.

    Far better to leave the impact open ended (as that’s what’s happening anyways).

  83. kiddr01 says:

    this has put a huge smile across my face! impressive for a Monday morning. *clap clap* : )

  84. jimbuck says:

    just a bit of a warning – the “works” link on the artist’s website…. a bit NSFW, unless your workplace is presidential screw paintings friendly.

  85. enki_carbone says:

    Wow, now I’m kind of sad Hillary didn’t get in ;_;

  86. technogeek says:

    A visual Mary Sue… Well, I suppose it’s no worse than the fanfic kind.

  87. pseudonym says:

    The government screws us all, so in a sense we are sleeping with the president.

  88. kaiza says:

    @3 – I was thinking more along the lines of a historical Annabel Chong.

  89. Scixual says:

    She just did the whole series so she could do Obama and not feel like a pervy stalker.

  90. Boba Fett Diop says:

    These are actually quite good. I plan to avoid her Cleveland and Taft paintings, however.

  91. Matt Deckard says:

    @1, I would have thought the “Artist paints herself having sex” title would have been enough of a NSFW warning for most people that clicking on the link might just result in paintings of people having sex appearing on your screen.

  92. Halloween Jack says:

    Is she pegging Buchanan? Heh.

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