With her controversial series of paintings depicting the former president, Lena Ruseva, a 44-year-old Soviet emigre, is generating quite a stir.
Ruseva imagines Trump as Neptune, a Buddhist monk, Tarzan, and the face of the sphinx in “Trump: Parallel Universe,” a collection of 30 paintings. In one scene, he makes contact with alien life, while in another, he rides a great white shark while draped in an American flag.
Some of the works are blatantly political. The former president is depicted as God banishing the naked and embarrassed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from the White House in a massive 48′ x 72′ acrylic on canvas titled “Expulsion from the White House.” Masaccio’s Renaissance fresco “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” inspired the imagery.
“I wanted to play around with childish fantasies,” Ruseva told The Post. “Some people hate him and call him racist. Some people love him and they are real fanatics. Everyone has their own picture of Donald Trump.
“I like Donald Trump as he is a strong person,” added Ruseva, who now lives in Fair Lawn, N.J. “It’s easy to criticize. It’s easy to say somebody is wrong or bad, or whatever, but how many people have reached what he reached?”
Ruseva, a green-card holder from Soviet Moldova, came to America in 2012 and began her career as a mural painter. She painted the walls of the Magical Palace of Knowledge, a kindergarten in Clifton, New Jersey, for 18 months.
She makes a profession creating tacky commissioned portraits of jowly animals when she’s not painting politics and presidents, and she frequently smokes a cigar while doing so. Depending on the size, portraits can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200.
In MAGA country, Ruseva’s work has been favorably accepted. Last month, she had an exhibition at the Metropolitan Republican Club, and she’s been hanging out with former White House officials like Andrew Giuliani and Boris Epshteyn.
So far, seven pieces from “Trump: Parallel Universe” have sold for between $1,000 and $4,000 each. In January, Palm Beach will host another Trump-themed art show.
However, the event was not without turmoil in left-leaning New York City. According to Ruseva, a gallery that had agreed to host the show pulled out at the last minute after receiving violent threats, and she herself was harassed and threatened on social media as word of the event spread.
“You’re going to get f–ked for this.” Just wait and see what happens. “Now go f–k yourself,” one of her Instagram messages read.
When an insurance firm found out about the situation, they urged Ruseva to add “terrorist insurance coverage” to the policy. According to Ruseva, the NYPD notified the Department of Homeland Security about the incident.
The artist claims she isn’t political, but she has been upset by Democrats’ recent efforts to limit free speech, including hers.
“In Russia, you try and post something against the government [and] in three to four hours someone will knock on your door. I hope it’s not going to happen here,” she said.