When Mexican artist Miriam Aroeste was commissioned to create 180 original pieces for Vancouver's Trump International Hotel and Tower, she had no idea what the building would come to represent.
She was first approached by the building's developers years before U.S. President Donald Trump threw his hat into the political ring.
"I created all this work with the intention of filling all these walls with love," she said.
When Trump announced his candidacy in a now-famous news conference during which he referred to Mexicans as "criminals and rapists," Aroeste was shocked.
"I was beyond offended. It's unbelievable. It's hard to believe he has those views," she said.
'His name is all it bears'
But Aroeste said Trump's statements — and the long campaign that followed — were not enough to make her pull out of her contract, or ask that her paintings be removed.
"First of all I never worked for him or anyone close to him. Of course, I do not support any of his politics and his views, specifically on Mexico, but I think they're two totally separate things," she said.
Aroeste's work is abstract expressionism, which she says is "contemporary, spontaneous, born in the moment, and built on my gut feeling."
She said that while she understands that some may not be able to reconcile the hotel's unapologetic association with the Trump brand, she has forced herself to look past it.
"I am totally focused on the merit of being able to create that work, and a project that allowed me to go so deep in my art. I know it might be hard to separate for some people, but I had to, for the sake of the art itself," she said.
The Trump International Hotel and Tower is scheduled to officially open on Feb 28, with the two eldest Trump sons expected to be in attendance.
Aroeste said she'll also be there — despite her reservations about what the hotel has come to represent.
"His name is all it bears," she said.