Former B-Sides contributor and New York artist Derek Brahney, is raising funds to build a satirical public sculpture in the form of a “monument” to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. The proposed sculpture, titled “Donald J. Trump Monument,” consists of a life-size mannequin wearing a blue suit, blond wig and red “Make America Great Again” hat. It is surrounded by a 6’ tall, 4’ x 4’ cinderblock wall with razor wire adorning the top, so only the recognizable hair and hat are visible. The sculpture uses satire to examine Trump’s controversial remarks about building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Derek is using the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise money for the project, which he plans to display in a rented commercial space or city park for a period of one month or more. The funding period will last until March 25. More information on the project can be found here.
We asked Derek a few questions about the project. Read his answers below.
How did the idea of a Trump monument come across?
A few months after Trump first made the remarks about building the wall, I thought of the idea and quickly drew it in my sketchbook. It sat there for a while and I didn’t think about it too much. Then as his popularity continued to grow seemingly with each ridiculous statement, I decided to revisit it. I made a mockup of the piece in photoshop, and shortly after started working on the Kickstarter campaign.
Where do you think this monument would fit in the city? In front of a Trump tower?
A public park would be the best place, or another outdoor location, maybe near Wall Street. Although the lobby of Trump Tower would also be pretty good.
The Media present Trump as unstoppable. Do you agree?
I don’t think he’s unstoppable but he certainly has a scary amount of support. What is concerning to me is not necessarily him as a person, but the amount of people who apparently think he’s the one who should be running the country.
What is the reaction you anticipate from New Yorkers? Vandalism or Hysteria?
I hope it is a successful piece of satire in that it makes people laugh, but also makes them think about where we are headed as a society. I could see it being vandalized, but they’ll have to get over that wall and I build the best walls.
Why is New York an ideal location vs. other cities?
Easy; it’s his hometown.
Of all of the outrageous remarks Trump as proposed throughout his run for office, why does the remark of building the wall stand out to you the most?
It seems every day he somehow says or does something more ridiculous, but I think that specifically stood out to me because it made a good visual metaphor. And for the purpose of monument building, the wall has the added benefit of keeping criminals out.
What other themes, besides isolationism, does the sculpture reflect on?
Absurdity is a big theme in my work and this definitely relates. Xenophobia, the cult of celebrity, and the spectacle are also themes I see it reflecting on.