Five identical statues of a nude Donald Trump have appeared overnight on street corners in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle, and New York City. So, The Verge ran down to Union Square in NYC to see as much of fake nude Trump as our eyes could possibly tolerate (photos below!).
The Washington Post reports that the anarchist collective INDECLINE is responsible for the statues, and are calling this project "The Emperor Has No Balls." The name is ostensibly a reference to the famous fairytale "The Emperor’s New Clothes," in which a narcissistic emperor gets conned into strolling amongst his people in the nude. Mr. Robot fans might liken the stunt to the one pulled by the show’s anti-capitalist fsociety, who symbolically removed the testicles from the iconic Wall Street bull statue.
An anonymous spokesperson from INDECLINE told the Post, "like it or not, Trump is a larger-than-life figure in world culture at the moment. Looking back in history, that’s how those figures were memorialized and idolized in their time — with statues."
This isn’t the first time this group has gone after Trump. Protesting several comments that Trump made about Mexican immigrants being "rapists," they spray-painted a caricature of Trump with a ball gag in his mouth on a border wall in Tijuana, accompanied by the phrase "RAPE TRUMP!"
INDECLINE hired Los Angeles-based artist Ginger, who specializes in haunted houses and horror movies, to make the statues. You can read more from Ginger about the project over at The Washington Post, and take a closer look at the final product below. Our photographer, James Bareham, arrived on the scene shortly before the party was busted up by the busters at the City Parks Department.
Update: The Parks Department provided a statement to Gothamist, saying "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small."
Photographs by James Bareham
Update: August 18th, 4:48 PM EST. Updated to include a statement from New York City Parks Department