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The latest news on Art from Business Insider
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    venus of willendorf

    • A Facebook user was banned from posting a photo of a prehistoric figurine of a naked woman.
    • The Venus of Willendorf, which dates back 29,500 years, is considered one of the world's earliest depictions of female fertility.
    • The Natural History Museum of Vienna, which houses the figurine, has attacked Facebook.
    • Facebook says the ban was an accident.

    A museum in Vienna has attacked Facebook for banning a woman from posting a photo of a 29,500-year-old figurine of a naked woman.

    Laura Ghianda, an activist who tried to post a photo of the Venus of Willendorf on the platform last year, said she was banned from doing so because it violated the company's nudity policies.

    The Venus of Willendorf, which is displayed at Vienna's Natural History Museum, dates back to the Paleolithic age and shows a woman standing in the nude with her head drooped. It's one of the world's earliest symbols of female fertility.

    NHM Vienna slammed Facebook's actions.

    "Let the Venus be naked!"the museum wrote in a German-language Facebook post. "For 29,500 years she has shown herself as a prehistoric fertility symbol without any clothes. Now Facebook has censored it and upset the community."

    The attack was first published in January, but took extra prominence after The Art Newspaper reported the story on Tuesday.

    Christian Koeberl, the museum's director-general and CEO, added in a statement to Business Insider:

    "There is no reason for the Natural History Museum Vienna to cover the 'Venus of Willendorf' (a 29,500-year-old figurine, a naked representation of a woman of the Paleolithic Age) and hide her nudity, neither in the museum nor on social media.

    "There has never been a complaint by visitors concerning the nakedness of the figurine and we have never heard of anybody who could have been offended by the look of this artefact. [...]

    "The perfection of the representation and harmonious style make the 29,500-year-old figure of the 'Venus of Wilendorf one of the most expressive works of art from the Paleolithic Age."

    venus von willendorf

    Ghianda, the Facebook user who was blocked from posting the image, said she appealed against Facebook's censorship four times.

    She added that the "little statue has the power to disquiet Facebook control team. [sic]

    "The same little statue that is now exposed in the archaeological museum in Vienna and appreciated by thousands of visitors/year.

    "The same little statue that speaks about an ancient culture can't be a safe image here."

    Other art aficionados have voiced their anger at Facebook's ban. They include US animator Nina Paley, who posted a gif of a "dancing" Venus in early January. According to NHM Vienna, Paley's animation was a response to Ghianda's post detailing the Facebook censorship.

    Facebook claims this was all a misunderstanding. The company said Ghianda had tried to run an ad with a photo of the Venus, which it mistakenly banned before realising it was a statue.

    A spokesman for the company told Business Insider in a statement: "Our advertising policies do not allow nudity or implied nudity but we have an exception for statues. Therefore, the ad with this image should have been approved.

    "We apologise for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad."

    natural history museum vienna

    This is not Facebook's first high-profile dispute over its censorship of art.

    A French court is currently deciding whether the social media platform had the right to shut down a teacher's account because he posted a photo of The Origin of the World, a 19th century oil painting depicting female genitals currently on display at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

    The court expects to announce a ruling on March 15.

    Two years ago Facebook also removed from its site images of "Napalm Girl," a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph from the Vietnam War. It later reversed its decision after the Norwegian Prime Minister and a major newspaper in the country protested the ban.

    According to Facebook's Community Standards, the platform allows photos of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms of nude figures.

    However, it added: "Explicit images of sexual intercourse are prohibited. Descriptions of sexual acts that go into vivid detail may also be removed."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What it's actually like to hear voices in your head

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    Katie Holmes money

    Everyone loves a rags to riches story, but for some unsuspecting people, proverbial "rags" actually ended up being worth millions — and they almost didn't realize it.

    From the superstitious fisherman who discovered he was accidentally hoarding a priceless pearl under his bed, to the guy who unknowingly bought an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, these people can testify that one man's trash is truly another's treasure.

    This woman didn't realize that the plate she had hanging over her oven was designed by Picasso.

    A Rhode Island woman bought a ceramic plate in 1970, paying less than $100 for the handsome dishware. She decided to hang it on her wall above the stove, where it collected a healthy layer of grease over the years.

    Luckily not even the slick sheen of oven grime could conceal the plate's true origins —  in 2014, the woman went to have the plate appraised on the television program "Antiques Roadshow," and discovered she was the owner of a 1955 Picasso-designed Madoura plate worth $10,000.

    One man became a millionaire after accidentally purchasing an original copy of the Declaration of Independence at a flea market.

    When a financial analyst bought an old painting at a flea market for $4 in 1989, he had no idea that an old copy of the Declaration of Independence was nestled behind a tear in the canvas: he had stumbled upon one of 500 official copies from the first printing in 1776.

    Auction house Sotheby's sold it in 1991 for $2.42 million — an unprecedented figure.

    "It was far and away the highest price for historical Americana ever," David Redden, the auctioneer, and senior vice president at Sotheby’s in Manhattan, said at the time.

    A duo found a treasure trove of classic cars in a 100-year-old barn.

    Nine times out of 10, the most interesting thing you'll find in an old barn is a pile of hay — but when these two "motorcar specialists" stumbled upon a 100-year-old barn in rural France, they became the exception to the rule.

    Serendipitous doesn't even begin to cover it: the barn was full of $18 million worth of classic cars that a man named Roger Baillon had stored away for safekeeping — and then promptly forgot about.

    "This sort of thing doesn't happen often enough," Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a press release about the event.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Travel Debashis Mukherjee smithsonian contest

    This year, the Annual Photo Contest received 48,000 submissions from photographers in 155 countries. Here are 15 of the 60 finalists in the six categories: Natural World, The American Experience, Travel, People, Altered Images, and Mobile.

     You can vote for the Reader's Choice winner until March 26, and check out last year's finalists here

    "Making Incense" by Tran Tuan Viet

    "Decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, incense is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religious ceremonies."

    "Sardines in the Sun" by Giacomo Marchione

    "Sardines emerge from a coral wall in cobalt waters just a few yards from the shores of Cebu Island in the Philippines. They move in a single undulating cloud of silver that twists, turns, shrinks, expands and wraps itself around any object that gets in its way. At times, it becomes a thundercloud, blocking out the sun or clapping violently as it suddenly flips its formation to evade a predator."

    "Salt Field Workers" by Matty Karp

    "These are women who work in a salt field in Vietnam. I altered the image to black and white and made the background black to emphasize the women."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iphone x optical illusion viral

    • An optical illusion that makes an iPhone X screen look like a three-dimensional hole is going viral.
    • The effect is created by an augmented reality app called "The Parallax View."
    • Swedish artist Peder Norrby made the app using the iPhone X and ARKit's face tracking capability.
    • The 3D "pit" moves in real time depending on where you look, creating an illusion of depth. 

    A Swedish artist is going viral for creating an optical illusion that turns your iPhone into a three-dimensional pit.

    Peder Norrby first shared a video of his mind-bending trick on Monday. In a short clip on Twitter, the artist can be seen picking up his iPhone X and slowly tilting it left, right, up, and down. But instead of a normal, two-dimensional iPhone screen, you see what appears to be a cavernous portal. The cool effect makes it seem like you can reach right into the phone.

    "Portable hole!?" Norrby tweeted along with the video. The artist also clarified that he did not use any post-processing video effects; the illusion is created entirely by an app he made.

    Norrby later explained how his app, "The Parallax View," works in another video on Twitter. "I'm using iPhone X with ARKit's face tracking to perform head tracking in 3D to find out the position of the eye and render a view from there," the artist says in the video.

    In simpler terms, the augmented reality app tracks the movement of your eye using ARKit and the iPhone X's advanced camera. The "three-dimensional pit" therefore moves in real time depending on where you look, creating an illusion of depth. According to Norrby, the same technique can also be used to make objects appear like they're coming out of the screen.

    But the effect has its limitations. As Norrby explained in a tweet, the effect is monoscopic: It's best viewed, when using the app, with one eye.

    When asked what inspired him to create "The Parallax View," Norrby told INSIDER that he has seen similar work in the past and pointed us to this video from human-computer interaction researcher Johnny Lee. "The idea came when I was playing around with ARKit face tracking in Unity," he added. "I noticed the tracking was really good and thought, 'I wonder if I could put a camera [in] the eye position and get a good [...] parallax going.'"

    The artist said the app took about a week to make. You can read more about how it works in Norrby's detailed write-up here.

    "The Parallax View" is currently in review in the App Store, where the artist hopes to publish it for free, along with its source code.

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    NOW WATCH: A Korean artist is making the internet dizzy with her insane illusion makeup

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    orange is the new black tattoo

    Whether you want to make a political statement or show off your favorite fandom, getting a tattoo is a rite of passage for many. But considering the permanent nature of tattoos, it's important to think things through, do your homework, and make sure you're putting yourself in capable hands.

    Here are eight of the most common — and egregious — mistakes people make when getting a new tattoo.

    Drinking before or after

    If you're thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no.

    Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design. Excess bleeding can also thin the ink.

    Of course, there's also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don't want to make permanent decisions while impaired. And it's not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session.

    Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.

    Not doing your research

    Getting a tattoo is a pretty big decision and should be handled as such. You wouldn't buy a car without doing your research, right? When deciding on a shop and an artist, be sure to read online reviews and shop around a bit.

    And take a close look at the individual's past work. Make sure his or her style vibes with what you're going for. Some artists may specialize in lettering, for example, while others are better at portraits.

    Not considering placement

    Where you get tattooed is almost as important as what you get tattooed. Think long and hard about placement. Certain areas of the body don't hold pigment well (see next point). Plus, some people want their tattoos to be private (for loved ones' eyes only) while others want them to be very visible.

    Also, if you're planning on getting more ink in the future, such as creating a sleeve, take that into consideration now.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Matching tattoos

    • In our early years of college, my friend and I decided to get matching tattoos.
    • I was terrified of getting it but it was a great decision.
    • The tattoos symbolize the memories and bond we have shared.

    There I was laying on a table in a tattoo parlor, trying to stay still as a woman drew on me with permanent ink. During a span of time I would've guessed was a year —but actually turned out to be only 20 minutes — I kept asking myself the same question: How did I get here?

    It had all started a few weeks before when my best friend brought up the idea of getting matching tattoos during our upcoming visit. Attending college eight hours apart, it was rare that we got to see each other.

    Best friends throughout high school, this wasn't the first time she has brought up the idea. It was, however, the first time I considered it seriously. I had always liked the idea of getting a tattoo but, as a commitment-phobe, paying to have something permanently drawn on my body was an absolutely terrifying thought.


    My friend sent me a picture of the design she had in mind, I liked it but still couldn't bring myself to commit. It was only a few days before we were supposed to meet up that I decided to go for it — very hesitantly.

    Which brings me back to the table. Being as terrified as I was, I made my friend go first. Watching her get inked was a bit of a comfort but, as my time came, I quickly started to freak out again. One of the best things about getting a tattoo with your best friend, however, is that they're able to hold your hand, something I definitely needed, and make sure you don't move and ruin the tattoo.


    When the tattoo artist finally said she was done, I couldn't believe it. We had just gotten tattoos. Today, a good amount of my friends have one, but, then being in our early years of college, we were some of the first, making it seem all the more outlandish.

    I got up from the table, staring at the double infinities forever ingrained in our ribs and, while still freaking out, felt excited about my decision.

    In the years since I got that tattoo, the story behind it has given way to the same question time and time again: What if you don't stay friends? I'm used to people asking me this by now accompanied by various reactions. From saying they'd be too nervous to get one with someone to thinking it's awesome, it's hard to know what kind of response I'll get. To clarify, we are still great friends, but how I feel about the tattoo wouldn't have changed either way.

    sarah f tattoo

    To me, the tattoo will always represent a time in my life where I had a friendship so impactful and special that the only way we could think to honor it was to have it permanently represented on our bodies. The memories we have, including the ones made in that tattoo parlor, are something I'll carry with me forever, just like this tattoo.

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    NOW WATCH: Neo-Nazi groups let a journalist in their meetings and rallies — here's what he saw

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    jim carrey

    • The actor Jim Carrey tweeted what appears to be a portrait of the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, over the weekend.
    • Many Twitter users criticized the drawing, and it even caught the attention of "Fox & Friends" on Monday morning.
    • Carrey has recently gained a reputation as an outspoken political activist and artist.

    The actor Jim Carrey has recently built a reputation — and a Twitter following — as an outspoken political activist and artist who regularly tweets political artwork. But his latest one is causing a stir on social media.

    On Saturday, Carrey tweeted a portrait that appears to be of the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. A representative for Carrey told The Associated Press that the drawing was by Carrey but did not confirm whether it was of Sanders.

    The tweet says: "This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!"

    There were more than 11,000 responses to the tweet by Monday morning, many of which criticized Carrey and accused him of bullying and spreading hate.

    Others, however, defended Carrey.

    The tweet also caught the attention of the Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends" on Monday.

    "It's the typical double standard that we see on the left," the conservative commentator Candace Owens said on the show. "What I'm so impressed with is just how quickly the double standard seems to take place."

    She added of Democrats: "There absolutely is no tolerance. They are completely hypocritical in every regard. We see this time and time again."

    In response to a question from the host Ainsley Earhardt about Carrey's mention of Christianity in the tweet, Owens said it was "ugly" and "not Christian-like whatsoever."

    "It's a moment for us as conservatives to just look better," Owens said, adding: "We're not going to respond to it with the exact same ugliness."

    This is not the first time Carrey has called out members of the Trump administration or other Republican politicians in drawings on Twitter. For instance, last month, he criticized Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland.

    Since November, Carrey has posted more than 20 politically charged pieces of art, and he has amassed almost 18 million Twitter followers despite staying mostly out of the spotlight in recent years to focus on painting in his art studio.

    UPDATE: Jim Carrey tweeted another drawing Monday afternoon alluding to his Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweet. The drawing portrays President Trump as "the Wicked Witch" with the caption "If you liked my last cartoon you may also enjoy ... "THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST WING AND PUTIN’S FLYING MONKEYS."

    SEE ALSO: John Oliver released a parody of a children's book that Mike Pence published to challenge 'his hostility to LGBT rights'

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jim carrey

    • In a statement to The Young Turks, actor Jim Carrey said he was "gratified by the reaction to his little drawings" in response to criticism over an unflattering portrait he drew of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
    • Carrey tweeted the drawing on Saturday and received backlash from Twitter users, Fox News, and Mike Huckabee.
    • On Monday, Carrey tweeted another drawing of President Trump as the "Wicked Witch of the West Wing."


    Actor Jim Carrey doesn't seem swayed by recent criticism of his political drawings.

    Carrey responded to the backlash he received over an unflattering portrait he drew of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Carrey tweeted the drawing on Saturday, and was quickly hit with criticism from Fox News, Mike Huckabee, and many Twitter users.

    In a statement to The Young Turks, Carrey said he was "gratified" by the response.

    "I am so gratified by the reaction to my little drawings," he said. "It is the job of a political cartoon to vex those who abuse power or enable abuses. This Administration has been lying to the American people from day one while plundering the country and debasing our values. And those who cover for those shameful mobster of a President are putting makeup on a melanoma and telling the cancer patient that everything's fine. Monstrous? You bet!"

    Carrey had tweeted the portrait of Sarah Huckabee Sanders with the caption, "This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!"

    That tweet has drawn more than 25,000 responses from Twitter users, many of whom were critical of Carrey.

    It also drew the ire of Fox News.

    "It's the typical double standard that we see on the left," conservative commentator Candace Owens said on "Fox & Friends" Monday. "What I'm so impressed with is just how quickly the double standard seems to take place."

    Sanders' father Mike Huckabee tweeted Monday that Carrey was a "pathetic bully," among other things.

    It didn't slow Carrey down.

    He tweeted another drawing Monday afternoon, which portrays President Trump as "the Wicked Witch" with the caption, "If you liked my last cartoon you may also enjoy ... "THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST WING AND PUTIN'S FLYING MONKEYS."

    Carrey has largely remained out of the spotlight in recent years, but his ascension as a political activist and artist on Twitter — he routinely posts drawings criticizing Republicans and President Trump's administration — is starting to gain attention.

    SEE ALSO: The Weinstein Company just canceled every non-disclosure agreement between Harvey Weinstein and women who accused him of sexual misconduct

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

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    Concha Garcia Zaera Microsoft Paint art 2

    • Concha García Zaera creates digital masterpieces using Microsoft Paint.
    • The 87-year-old grandmother often spends two weeks or more on a single drawing, paying close attention to detail.
    • Zaera started drawing using Microsoft Paint 12 years ago, when her husband fell ill.
    • Her paintings recently went viral on Instagram and Twitter.

    A grandmother in Valencia, Spain, is going viral for her intricate drawings of nature and landscapes. Each one is hand-painted, but not necessarily in the way you'd expect.

    Este dibujo que lo hice con Paint me parecio bonito #dibujo #dibujoconpaint #Paint #Conchadibujaconpaint #santorini #mar

    A post shared by Concha García Zaera (@conchagzaera) on Nov 22, 2017 at 4:16am PST on

    Concha García Zaera creates her digital masterpieces using Microsoft Paint, often spending two weeks or longer on a single drawing. According to UltimaHora, the 87-year-old runs the graphics editing program on Windows 7 and uses a mouse to perfect her paintings — many of which are inspired by postcards her husband used to send her.

    Indeed, her artwork shows an incredible attention to detail: Waves crash on a shore; blades of grass blow in the wind; light and shadows add movement and depth. 

    # dibujo #dibujoconpaint #conchadibujapaint#paint #marpinoscastillo

    A post shared by Concha García Zaera (@conchagzaera) on Nov 24, 2017 at 1:29am PST on

    A longtime art enthusiast, Zaera told Radio Valencia that she used to channel her creativity into oil painting classes. But the strong smell of the oil paints prevented her from practicing at home, and she eventually had to stop. Luckily, after her children gave her a computer, the grandmother realized she could keep drawing using Microsoft Paint.

    Paisaje chino #dibujo #dibujoconpaint #paint #conchagzaera #conchadibujaconpaint

    A post shared by Concha García Zaera (@conchagzaera) on Mar 9, 2018 at 5:09am PST on

    That was around 12 years ago, around the time her husband fell ill, Zaera said in an interview with El Mundo. "I had to take care of him, so I couldn't go out very often," the grandmother explained, as translated by BuzzFeed. "I began painting little things: First, a house. The next day, I'd add a mountain. [...] Step by step, I was adding details, and in the end, the result was a very pretty thing."

    Os muestro otro de mis dibujos ¿os gusta? #dibujo #paint #conchadibujaconpaint #paisaje #campanario

    A post shared by Concha García Zaera (@conchagzaera) on Nov 11, 2017 at 4:37am PST on

    Until recently, Zaera shared her artwork with a limited audience on Facebook. According to Vanguardia, she didn't make the switch to Instagram until one of her granddaughters suggested it. When her paintings started going viral earlier this month — after Twitter user femilimon posted a screenshot of her account on March 9 — she only had 361 followers.

    Now, less than two weeks later, the grandmother has over 124,000 followers on Instagram and counting.

    Despite her newfound fame, Zaera has remained humble about her talent. "I do not understand very well why my drawings draw so much attention," she told Vanguardia. "I think they are very simple things."

    Este dibujo lo pinte con paint hace tiempo,¿os gusta? #amapolas #mar #pinos #Conchadibujaconpaint #dibujo #paint

    A post shared by Concha García Zaera (@conchagzaera) on Oct 25, 2017 at 8:11am PDT on

    Concha García Zaera did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

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    NOW WATCH: An artist who spends 12 hours a day creating art uses paint in the most creative ways

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    garden of earthly delights hieronymous

    • Artist Agnieszka Nienartowicz made a painting of a woman with a tattoo of the Hieronymus Bosch painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights."
    • Her painting is so detailed, it looks like a woman with a real tattoo of the painting.
    • Here's a closer look.


    Polish artist Agnieszka Nienartowicz made an oil painting of a woman's back that's so photorealistic, it looks like a tattoo.

    It's called "The Garden of Earthly Delights," adapted from the 16th century Hieronymus Bosch painting of the same name. The Bosch painting is famous for its intricate detail and multilayered storytelling. It features unusual creatures and people indulging in physical pleasures.

    "I love this painting, it is so strange, weird and beautifull at the same time," Nienartowicz told INSIDER. "I focused on the fragment of the central panel, the part which shows the earthly delights. I decided to show it on the woman's back as a fallen nature contained in even a beautiful body."

    Nienartowicz's painting puts a section of the Bosch painting on a woman's back, with similar amounts of detail. But by projecting it as a tattoo, it looks more realistic and connected to flesh itself.

    Here's a close-up of Nienartowicz's painting:

    Nienartowicz garden early delights

    And here's a similar part from the Hieronymus Bosch version of "The Garden of Earthly Delights," which was finished more than 500 years ago:

    The Garden of Earthly Delights bosch detail

    And if you zoom out from just the back tattoo, you'll see it's actually a painting of a tattoo, not a real one.

    garden of earthly delights painting with artist

    Nienartowicz told INSIDER that her paintings are a way of engaging with other artists' works and introducing new meanings into what the original artist intended.

    "By appropriating fragments of [their] works, I estabilish a kind of dialogue with their authors," Nienartowicz  said. "Placing those works in a completely new context, I deprive them of their original meaning, transform them into an artifact, introduce ambiguity."

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    NOW WATCH: What would happen if humans tried to land on Jupiter

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    Jim carrey

    • The actor Jim Carrey has taken his artistic war on Twitter with President Donald Trump to a new and sexually explicit level.
    • The latest drawing, posted Friday, features Trump in bed with a woman who is presumably the adult-film star Stormy Daniels.
    • Carrey has courted controversy this week over other drawings, including an unflattering depiction seemingly of the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    The actor Jim Carrey isn't backing down from his criticism of President Donald Trump — and he has taken it to a new level.

    On Friday, Carrey tweeted a drawing that depicts Trump in bed with a woman appearing to be Stephanie Clifford, the porn actress whose stage name is Stormy Daniels. Clifford has said she had an affair with Trump years ago and has recently been at the center of a legal battle with the president.

    Carrey covered the most explicit areas of the drawing with the presidential seal, captioning it "Fifty Shades of Decay."

    Clifford says her affair with Trump started in 2006, a few months after Melania Trump gave birth to her son, Barron.

    Clifford sued the president earlier this month, arguing that he never signed a nondisclosure agreement intended to prevent her from talking about the alleged affair.

    Carrey, who has become an unlikely political artist and activist on Twitter, has been quite busy over the past several days, courting controversy for other drawings he tweeted.

    On Saturday, Carrey received backlash from conservatives when he posted an unflattering image seemingly of the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that called into question her Christian faith.

    Carrey was unfazed by the criticism, telling the progressive digital video outlet The Young Turks in a statement that he was "so gratified by the reaction to my little drawings."

    He followed that drawing up with one portraying Trump as the "WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST WING."

    SEE ALSO: Jim Carrey slams Mark Zuckerberg in a new portrait: 'Who are you sharing your life with? #regulatefacebook'

    Join the conversation about this story »

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