Jim Carrey is best known for his acting, but it’s his painted art that’s drawn the most attention of late. The comedian has taken to Twitter over the last year to share his politically charged artwork, including an “official” portrait of Donald Trump and a contentious take on Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Carrey was asked about the motivations for his drawings.
“It’s not a choice for me to do cartoons,” he said. “I can’t just watch this nightmare unfold, I have to do something artistic.”
Moreover, Carrey said he doubts the president is actually upset about his art.
“He probably loves them on some level,” Carrey said. “I’m sure it’s insulting and I’m sure it’s pissed him off, but at the same time, we’re dealing with a narcissist. It’s not always a straight shot. You could do something that’s really horrible to him but because he’s getting a lot of attention, horrible is all right to him.”
In regard to other people’s objections over the content, Carrey said he’s just channeling the collective feelings of a frustrated nation.
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“Even if it’s crass at times, I’m expressing the crass [feelings] others want to express and can’t do so in their own lives,” he said. “So when I stick a flag in Trump’s ass, it’s because that what everyone is seeing and I have to express that.”
Carrey was emphatic that the artwork wasn’t planned or even optional.
“I don’t plan anything. It’s not a choice. It’s just happening,” Carrey said. “It’s my reflex to what I’m seeing that I don’t like. It’s just a civilized way of dealing with it, I think; […] to get on board with as many voices as possible who are shouting from the rooftops.”
Carrey, who joked the best possible feedback he could get on his art is Trump’s impeachment, also said he thought the pieces were more impactful than anything he could put into words.
“It’s a new way to make a public record,” he said. “You can tweet all you want, but there’s something about a picture, about a creation, that takes it to a whole other level and makes it fun to consume. It’s kind of insane what I get to say.”
Commenting on the controversy surrounding his portrait of Sanders, Carrey said his art spoke for itself even when others tried to put words in his mouth.
“I didn’t say ugly. I didn’t say anything,” he said. “I drew her essence. To me, ugly is an inside job.”
Yet after seeing Disney fire James Gunn for his old tweets, Carrey knows he could see professional backlash for his comments.
“We’re all under that now,” he said. “Anything you say — I could say something right now that would go viral that would be insanely difficult to deal with. And yet I do it all the time. When I see a celebrity screw up and say something stupid, depending on the monumental-ness of the stupidity, it is bound to happen. If you answer a thousand questions in a day, one of those things is bound to come home; one of your answers is going to come home with you like a fucking UFO and follow you around for the rest of the week.”
But is he worried about any repercussions?
“No. I’m not worried about anything,” Carrey said.
“Kidding” premieres September 9 at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Additional reporting by Michael Schneider.