Big gold statues of Trump are appearing around DC, in a new installation art project, Trump Statue Initiative, which memorialize his worst moments of 2020.
They aren’t really sculptures but live street performers painted gold and frozen still atop massive plinths hailing Trump as the
“destroyer of civil rights and liberties.”
Filmmaker Bryan Buckley decided to stage the project in part because of the way public statues have made headlines the last few months. So Trump has not only beefed up the law against vandalizing statues, but also issued an executive order to create a
Buckley told AdAge,
“I noticed that Trump was obsessed with statues.
I felt like the best thing we could do was to create these very honest statues of the legacy he’s living right now, that let the world see exactly who he is.”
One work, titled Now Go Back to School, shows the president brandishing a golf club before a masked student, a critique of Trump’s insistence on in-person education this fall, despite the worsening outbreak in many parts of the country.
In The Bunker, Trump sits crosslegged on the floor, an homage to when the Secret Service whisked him away to a secure location inside the White House as Black Lives Matter demonstrations took place outside.
The third statue, The Poser, reenacts a scene from three days later, when riot police used force to clear protesters from outside the White House ahead of curfew, clearing a path from the presidential residence to St. John’s Episcopal Church. There, minutes later, Trump posed for a photo op holding a Bible.
One of the works was placed in front of the Trump Hotel, with the other two in Freedom Park, outside of the mayor’s office. During the installation, which lasted three or four hours in each location, violinist Celeste Vee was on hand to play songs by artists who have banned Trump from using them at his campaign rallies.
Buckley is best known for creating television commercials—the New York Times once called them “tiny compressed films”—and he has been called “the King of the Super Bowl” for consistently making some of the most popular 30-second spots aired during football’s championship game.
For the Trump Statue Initiative, Buckley’s goal is to encourage citizens to vote for Joe Biden this November. He is working with Bradley Tusk of the campaign strategy firm Tusk Strategies on a series of events that will take place across the country between now and election day.
Buckley told the Hill,
“We’re hoping with this initiative we will inspire other street performers, other artists to follow suit, whether across the country in swing states or conventions, that we really start to show these moments in statue form that show what we’ll be living with [if Trump wins reelection]
The history he’s painting of himself right now, where his narcissistic or racist or self-serving moments abound, this is what he’s leaving us with.”