As many as 1,000 Donald Trump collectibles, down to his golf balls, form an exhibit in New York's former Lotus nightclub in Chelsea. American photographer Andres Serrano, famed for his images of body fluids, most notably urine in a work called “Piss Christ,” spent a year and $200,000 purchasing the exhibit examples from eBay to concoct what he deems a Trump portrait.

'I'm ready for my closeup, Mr.DeMille'

“I'm trying to show Donald Trump through the eyes of Donald Trump,” Serrano told The Guardian, “through everything he has created or has been created for him.” The big takeaway from the memorabilia, he said, is that the Trump presidency wasn't what made him a household name. He was in the spotlight years before his election.

“In a way, he has been campaigning his whole life.”

Trump wants you to talk about him

Campaigning for what, you may ask? By the look of the memorabilia that Serrano amassed, Trump needed a lot of attention and accolades. Included in the exhibit is the New York Post story about his affair with Marla Maples with an accolade from her: “Best s*x I ever had.” But Serrano points out a notable aspect to Trump's press coverage over the years: It's not always positive, and it doesn't matter to him.

“He just wants you to talk about him.”

Grabbing headlines

Of course, you could say the same thing about Serrano. Consider his brazen “Piss Christ” made in 1987 which pictures a crucifix plopped in a jar of urine. Even though the urine casts a decidedly celestial glow, and even though British art historian and nun, Sister Wendy told PBS host Bill Moyer that the image was an expression of the artist's anger over the disregard of Christ, the outcry was loud and long, reaching all the way to the US Senate.

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Donald Trump

Republican senator Jesse Helms was so outraged that he introduced legislation banning government grants to artists who denigrate religious beliefs. Congress passed the bill, but President Bill Clinton vetoed it. Clearly, the shock value of Serrano's work has made him famous to this day. Which is why his show “All Things Trump” is likely to keep his name in lights.

The point of the story

Oh, well, at least Serrano doesn't have a website hawking wares such as Mother's Day greeting cards as does Trump's website.

Not that you'll see any of the merchandise in “All Things Trump.” Serrano was fussy about what went into his collection. “I was most interested in vintage Trump,” he explained. “I think from a historical point, the past is always precious because it shows artifacts of how we got to this point, this story.”

But here's the thing, Andres. While the president's need for attention is self-evident in “All Things Trump,” the show comes too late.

It might have been a heads-up for voters before the 2016 election. As it stands now, the memorabilia comes across as dead weight.

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