His presidency is a joke. No, not Trump's this time. That's a separate travesty. The ha-ha in question is Vladimir Putin's uncontested victory as Russia's leader for a fourth term. It's laughable given his penchant for murdering adversaries, like the recent nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

It's a bird, it's a plane...no, it's Putin

And because Putin's presidency is a joke, Russian artists are milking it with mocking portraits in an exhibit at the Ultra Modern Art Museum (UMAM) in Moscow. A likeness of him decked out in a Superman costume could well serve as an advertising poster for the entire show.

But these painters aren't the only ones satirizing their politics. Actor/artist Jim Carrey also made the news this week with a satiric sketch of Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Is that you, Dora Maar?

What you see is a scowling, snarling face rendered so cruelly that it looks like Picasso's angry portrait of his ex lover Dora Maar. This painting is known as “Weeping Woman,” although by the look of her distress, it should be titled “Shrieking Woman.” But here's the thing. While I'm no fan of Sanders, Carrey got her very wrong. She doesn't grimace when she's at the podium. She doesn't even crack her face. If anything, she assumes an air of boredom and responds to reporters' questions in a kind of sing-song monotone, as if she were a sleep-deprived parent lulling her small child into slumber.

In fact, she treats the press like children and her Q&A's are like a game of ping pong.

Gaming the system

Sanders' game goes like this: when reporters' questions reach her, she smacks them back with remarks like, “as I've said many times before,” (even if she hadn't) or “as the president has made clear again and again” (even if he hadn't).

It's a tactic: chastise and cover up. What she does, then, is crafty, is cunning. Shrieking, as Carrey pictured her, never comes into it.

Reactions on Twitter

Carrey's lampoon not only falls short, it does something worse: it spoofs a woman with a voice in a stereotypical way -- as an hysteric. He said in a tweet that Sanders' “only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked.” He got the lying right.

His 12.8 million Twitter followers reacted in a veritable tweet storm.“You were really able to capture her wickedness,” said one follower. “I love your paintings, Jim," said another, "especially this one because you painted the truth. She does nothing but lie for her criminal master.”

Missing the point

But if it's truth Carrey is talking about, his portrait doesn't come close. I don't know who he was channeling when he painted Sanders, but he missed the really objectionable part of her. If she screamed as he pictured her doing, that would at least be an honest expression of feeling.

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