donald trump nude Illma Gore
Part of Illma Gore's nude portrait of Donald Trump with its not-so-stand-out feature out of frameIllma Gore

The artist behind the "imaginary" nude of Donald Trump has been threatened with legal action if she sells the painting, which depicts the Republican candidate with a small penis. Illma Gore, whose portrait now hangs at the Maddox Gallery in Mayfair, was left stunned following the anonymous filing of a threat to sue her under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The unflattering pastel piece, titled Make America Great Again, went viral back in February after the Los Angeles-based artist shared it on Facebook. Although it was swiftly removed by Facebook for breaching its nudity ban, and later banned from public display in the US, it found a home at London's Maddox Gallery last week (11 April).

Trump responded to the image, telling a rally: "[Rubio] referred to my hands, if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee."

Although Gore has received death threats, as well as an anonymous call from someone claiming to be from Trump's team stating she would face a lawsuit if the likeness was sold, she intends to stand her ground. She plans to sell the painting and will donate a portion of proceeds to Safe Place for Youth, a charity which supports homeless young people. She told the Independent: "It is my art and I stand by it. Plus anyone who is afraid of a fictional penis is not scary to me."

Gore previously opened up about the positive reaction from the UK. "Everywhere apart from America has been great. Who knew it would be such a big deal? I think an artist's job is to take the times we're living in and then set the scene. It is a representation of where we are," she said.

"I've been overwhelmed by the public reaction to the piece. While it is obviously a great shame that I cannot exhibit it in the USA due to censorship, and also threats from Trump supporters to harm both myself and the artwork, I am so excited that it will finally be exhibited in a gallery space where interested parties can come and see it 'in the flesh'."

She added: "London has always had such an open-minded attitude towards art and has regularly displayed works of art that push boundaries and cause controversy, it is the perfect place to show Make America Great Again."

The furore has only intensified interest in the work of art. After attracting bids from across the globe, it now has a price tag of £1m ($1.42m). Gallery director James Nicholls has described the artwork as a "contentious and interesting piece" saying that while some may find it offensive others will appreciate the humour.