Friday 30th September 2016The Emperor Goes to Auction
You may or may not remember one of our more hilarious stories from the past couple of months: all across America, an anarchist artist collective put up naked - and incredibly unflattering - statues of United States Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Anarchists have never been known to pull punches in any form, so the title of the statue series was as offensive as the statues themselves, "The Emperor Has No Balls". Sure enough, they left out a specific part of typical human male anatomy during the sculpting process.
The statues were immediately taken down by various parks departments across the country, of course, but not before they had managed to attract thousands of deeply amused viewers, and a corresponding number of selfies with the naughty and admittedly rather repellant statue.
The New York Parks Department won the entire internet that day with their simple response to the placement of the New York version of the statue, with their spokesman tweeting, "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small".
But the saga of this incredibly disruptive yet hilarious art series hasn't ended, as it turns out that during this coming October, an auction house located in Los Angeles (where one of the statues appeared in an park) will be selling the foam piece. Surprisingly enough, the estimated worth of the statue is between $10,000 and $20,000 USD, although it is only expected to fetch somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 by the time the gavel falls.
The auction house responsible for the upcoming auction had the following to say in a published statement: "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."
It seems hard to imagine (pun intended) that someone would willingly pay $15,000 USD for an ugly foam statue of Donald Trump naked, but then Julien's Auctions was right to call it an important piece of political protest art. It's likely to only increase in value regardless of how the election goes in November, whether as a result of his defeat or his shockingly unbelievable ascendancy to the highest public office in the nation.
Either way, it's an interesting investment - except that in this case, it's probably not such a bad thing that art investors would be likely to lock it away from the public view.
Posted on September 30th 2016 on 09:00pm
Friday 26th August 2016The Emperor Has No.... Umm...
No matter where in the world you live, it's hard not to cringe at the current state of the United States' presidential election runup. Regardless of how you feel about Clinton or any of the third party candidates, it's virtually impossible to take the candidacy of Donald Trump seriously. He's managed to offend virtually every group of voters other than non-college-educated white men, and yet he still manages to capture the airwaves and set the terms of the entire election race. He's been impervious to scandals that would have toppled any other candidate in US history, but he may at last have met his match. Himself, in fact - naked, in parks across America.
Courtesy of the anarchist artist collective INDECLINE, life-sized statues of Donald Trump completely naked appeared in many places, including Union Square Park in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland and Seattle on August 18th. The likeness is hardly flattering, and the title of the piece apparently is called 'The Emperor Has No Balls' - and, sure enough, the statues seemed to be missing the relevant part of typical male anatomy.
Of course, parks officials across the country were not overly pleased by the guerrilla public art installations, and rapidly began to take them down, despite the hilarious and overwhelming support that they seemed to get from the general public, as you can see in the image on the right. Many more photos were taken and circulated around social media, ensuring that the memory of the statue will live on even after it's earthly presence has been removed.
INDECLINE, the collective who are apparently responsible for the explained their choice of statues. “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.” Their spokesman only commented with the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, naturally.
To cap it all off, after the New York City Parks Department removed the statue in Union Square Park, eventually NYC Parks spokesman Sam Biederman offered a statement about the event: "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small."
Ouch. Here's hoping that INDECLINE has managed to puncture the windbaggery that has characterized the Trump campaign, and helped in some small way to save the world from his presidency.
Posted on August 26th 2016 on 06:02pm