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Gillian Laub researches her family’s political dramas

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Gillian Laub researches her family's political dramas

In a 2016 picture included in the book, Laub’s mother is shown seated on the couch in her living room. She smiles serenely as she is enveloped in a rich, minimalist furniture landscape: crystal goblets and ornate silver platters, gilded frames, and velvety furnishings. (“I’ve always loved taking photos of people at home because every single object has a meaning,” Laub told me.) Laub told me that the person is a slim, well-groomed woman in her seventies. She looks like her mother and dresses in front of her fur. This representation of wealth and comfort is broken up by the clear punch line of the picture: a pink and white “Women for Trump” poster placed on a bookshelf. Directly below, a VIP ticket for Trump’s pence event hangs from a lanyard attached to a closet door knob. Laub’s sister and two daughters are seen on another 2019 photo, sitting on a terrace that overlooks a pool and large, well-kept gardens. The photographer’s nephew is the focal point of the photograph. His head is hidden beneath a mask with the image Trump’s, while he smiles at the camera. This mask, which was used as a deputy for the president, is not at home in the otherwise serene scene. But is Trump really a disordered individual or the custodian of this American dream?

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