The Cuban-American Artist That Made This Controversial Trump Piece Is Saying He’s Not Sorry About It

credit: DER SPIEGEL/ILLOZ.COM

You might have never heard of Edel Rodriguez before but chances are you’ve seen his work on any number of magazines over the years. The 45-year-old Cuban-American artist’s provocative work has caught the attention of fans and critics alike, but his most recent contribution to magazine Der Spiegel, a German publication with a circulation of around 1 million, has stirred controversy and heated debate.

The cover of Der Spiegel features President Trump holding the Statue of Liberty’s head as if it was beheaded.


According to BBC News, Edel Rodriguez said the image depicts Trump’s “beheading of democracy.”

The cover was inspired by President Trump’s controversial “immigration ban.”


For Rodriguez, the Statue of Liberty symbolizes the importance of immigration in U.S. history — an important theme in his work.

a cover I illustrated 20 years ago #ERcovers

A photo posted by Edel Rodriguez (@edelrodriguez) on


Rodriguez designed this cover for Time magazine 20 years ago.

Edel Rodriguez created the Der Spiegel cover to compare ISIS to President Trump, both of which he considers to be extremists.

that time I unfurled the American flag at El Morro castle in Havana, Cuba. A flag that hadn't been seen there since 1961.

A photo posted by Edel Rodriguez (@edelrodriguez) on

The Washington Post reports that Edel Rodriguez, who fled Cuba in 1980 when he was 9 years old, was “angered” by President Trump’s immigration “ban.”

The Der Spiegel cover isn’t the first time Edel Rodriguez has drawn inspiration from President Trump.


This Time cover highlighted a tumultuous time in Trump’s campaign last August. He had just replaced his campaign manager with Kellyanne Conway and brought Stephen Bannon aboard. At the time it appeared that Trump’s ship was sinking, however, this ultimately proved wrong.

Edel’s “Meltdown” motif was updated a few months later after Trump’s campaign suffered another major hit.

my NEW cover for TIME magazine is out today. Thanks to art director D.W. Pine and editor Nancy Gibbs for the opportunity. They're doing a great job this election season. From TIME magazine: "The Oct. 24 issue of TIME may look a little familiar to some readers. In order to capture the latest twists in Donald Trump’s campaign and the rising anger within the Republican party leadership about their standard bearer’s behavior, we asked artist Edel Rodriguez to reprise his illustration of Donald Trump which appeared on the Aug. 22 issue of TIME—this time with just one small twist. (Read TIME creative director D.W. Pine on the impact of Rodriguez’s original image.) Rodriguez was formerly an international art director for the magazine and has since completed a variety of covers for TIME, including the cover that followed the 2015 attacks on Paris. This week mark’s the sixth time—and the fifth since he launched his presidential campaign in June 2016—Trump has been on magazine’s cover. The businessman first appeared on the cover in 1989. By comparison, Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton has appeared on TIME’s cover 31 times; she was first on the cover in September 1992 when her husband Bill was two months away from winning the White House." #time #edelrodriguez #studioedel #election2016 #edelcovers

A photo posted by Edel Rodriguez (@edelrodriguez) on


This cover came shortly after the leaked audio between Donald Trump and Billy Bush surfaced, and around the same time as the disastrous final debate. Polls at the time suggested Trump’s chances to win the presidency were very slim. Again, this proved wrong.

Edel Rodriguez’s work has been featured on the cover of Der Spiegel before. The image featured a familiar face.

My new cover for Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, "The End of the World (as we know it)" #ercovers #edelrodriguez

A photo posted by Edel Rodriguez (@edelrodriguez) on


Yep, Donald Trump. This cover was released a few days after the November elections and features the title: “The End Of The World (as we know it).”

Though Rodriguez’s design for Der Spiegel has drawn a lot of criticism, the Cuban-American artist defends his choice.


Rodriguez defended himself on Instagram, saying, “history has shown that shedding light on hate is better than hiding it so here you go.”

Rodriguez has his own reasons for his disdain of Trump’s policies, not the least of which is that he is a Cuban refugee.


“I don’t want to live in a dictatorship,” Rodriguez told the Washington Post. “If I wanted to live in a dictatorship, I’d live in Cuba, where it’s much warmer.”


READ: In Protest Against Trump’s Immigration Ban, 1,000 NYC Bodega Owners Closed Up Shop For A Day