How much would you pay for a naked Trump?

By Peter Holley

You paid, what? Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo / AP
You paid, what? Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo / AP

More than two months have passed since members of the anarchist collective INDECLINE unveiled life-size statues of Donald Trump in the flesh in public spaces across the US.

Tossed into the wild during the most unpredictable election cycle in modern history, each statue in the naked class of 2016 has followed its own, unpredictable journey.

A brief recap:

In New York, naked Trump lasted all of three hours before the statue was dismembered and carted away in a truck by city workers.

In Seattle, the statue has been "on tour" following its rescue by "a liberal couple who own an antique shop," according to an INDECLINE spokesman.

In Cleveland, the statue's creator brokered a deal with police to auction off naked Trump and donate the proceeds to charity. That auction takes place this week.

In San Francisco, the naked Trump remains in police custody and may lead to charges for the collective, the spokesman said.

In Miami, a Trump statue overlooking I-95 was kidnapped, beheaded and later returned, though the statue now "looks like Frankenstein," the spokesman said, noting that the group has declined to press charges.

A similar, yet more mysterious fate awaited a Trump statue that greeted motorists outside the Holland Tunnel. The statue disappeared without a trace one night last month and hasn't been seen since.

And finally this weekend in Los Angeles, a statue that began its lowly journey on Hollywood Boulevard ended up at Julien's Auctions, where the nude sculpture of the Republican presidential nominee was purchased for US$22,000 by an anonymous buyer at the celebrity-filled street art auction.

The statue was the auction's leading offering alongside works from Banksy, Keith Haring, Jean Michelle Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

"It's going to be hard to top this," the INDECLINE spokesman said. "We're still a few weeks out from actual election but - after months of planning the statues and creating them - this had a finality to it.

"When you get John Stamos walking in and taking photos with a Trump statue, you know that it has taken on a life of its own."

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the piece - entitled "The Emperor Has No Balls" - will benefit the National Immigration Forum, a leading pro-immigrant advocacy group, according to the auction house.

The auction house originally estimated that the sculpture would sell US$10,000 to US$20,000, the auction house announced. The auction's description of the work suggests that, in the eyes of collectors and artists, at least, the statues have quickly evolved from prankish punk-rock protests to symbols of free speech and populist rebellion.

According to Julien's Auctions:
"This 'Naked Trump' was rescued by La Luz de Jesus Gallery director Matt Kennedy, and is one of the only remaining examples not confiscated or destroyed," the auction house wrote. "The explicit statue quickly became a symbol of political protest art and garnered international coverage when the gallery refused to hide or censor the statue, choosing instead to display it prominently and in public view.

"The 'Naked Trump' statue was loaned to the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Show, and found its way into the opening monologues of Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, Stephen Colbert's Late Show, and hundreds of other news and entertainment outlets."

Unlike monuments of most political figures in cities across the globe, the Trump statues are far from flattering. They're oddly shaped, lack one key element of the male reproductive system and dramatically play down another.

The eyes scowl, the mouth pouts, and the veiny, almost reptilian skin looks like it was torn off a human-size frog and dipped in bronzer.

The job of conceptualising and creating the statues fell to a man who goes by the name "Ginger," a Las Vegas-based artist. Ginger told the Washington Post last month that he has a long history of designing monsters for haunted houses and horror movies.

In addition to doing makeup for a Busta Rhymes video, Ginger's résumé includes another source of great pride for the artist: He's a regular keynote speaker at haunted house conventions across the country. (We checked and, yeah, they're a thing.)

"When the guys approached me, it was all because of my monster-making abilities," he said, referring to INDECLINE members. "Trump is just yet another monster, so it was absolutely in my wheelhouse to be able to create these monstrosities."

- Washington Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 24 Feb 2017 03:45:56 Processing Time: 775ms