during the extremely long and ugly u.s. presidential election of 2016, there were a couple moments of art. the anarchist collective INDECLINE commisioned the artist ginger to create six naked statues of republican candidate donald trump.
ginger with his creation (thetab.com)
peter holley‘s article on the washingtonpost.com explains
the group unveiled life-size statues of trump in the nude… in public spaces in new york, san francisco, los angeles, cleveland and seattle.
unveil means reveal, present. it is often used when the public sees a work of art for the first time.
a few people at an unveiling
the article describes the statues as
far from flattering…..they’re oddly shaped, lack one key element of the male reproductive system and dramatically play down another
flattering means positive. far from flattering means the statues don’t make trump look good at all. oddly means the bodies of the statues have a weird shape. lack refers to the statues not having testicles; in fact they are titled the emperor has no balls. balls is a synonym for testicles. play down means under-emphasize the importance; it is a reference to the trump statues having a very small wiener. the –cally at the end of dramatically should be pronounced as one syllable, clee.
two young ladies pose with the naked trump statue in new york city. (thetab.com)
holley reported that ginger said it was a challenge (difficult, a test)…..
figuring out how to create unsettling body parts in a realistic fashion, a process that required extensive online research. “If somebody were to look at my browser history, it would be a little disturbing, turns out there’s not too many google results for ‘saggy old man butt.’”
figure out means analyze and solve. unsettling body parts cause an uncomfortable feeling. if somebody were to look at my browser history…. is a great example of how to express a hypothetical situaiton (second conditional). turn out is like happen or indicates a result. saggy is the opposite of firm.
saggy old man butt (james bareham / the verge)
holley added that ginger
used 300 pounds of clay and silicone to create the statues and said the candidate’s mouth ended up being his biggest sculpting challenge. the goal was to give him the slightest hint of a scowl — a “constipated look” — that hinted at trump’s implicit frustration with contemporary america
end up is a tough phrasal verb to apply when english is your second language. it means reaching or completing but also can include a component of doubt or surprise. slight means a little. a hint is a suggestion or indication. a scowl is an angry face.
trump’s constipated scowl, like his hat, hints that for him contemporary america is not great.
it may come as a surprise that the man who created these unflattering images of donald trump actually considered voting for him. however…..
the more familiar he became with trump, the more that familiarity bred contempt. “starting on the project and looking at his face day in and day out when i’d come home, I began to build up some resentment. the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he made fun of the disabled reporter from the new york times.
familiarity breeds contempt means knowing someone or something better can lead to negative feelings (comtempt).in this case, being around the trump statues made ginger start to dislike trump. breed means reproduce. build up means accumulate. would in this example is used to show a repetitive action in the past (coming home to the trump statues). the straw that broke the camel’s back, or the last (final) straw is the last in a string of irritations that creates a loss of patience. donald trump offended a lot of people over the course of his campaign, but it was when he made fun of a reporter with a disability that ginger realized he couldn’t vote for him.
the last straw for ginger was when trump mocked a reporter with a disability. (disabilityand.me)
after their unveiling, local authorities removed the statues almost immediately in cleveland and new york; the next day in san francisco. an art collector rescued the naked trump in l.a. and local art fans did the same in seattle. more naked trump statues appeared in new jersey and miami in september.
naked hillary statue (laura bult/new york daily news)
in response to ginger’s naked trump statues, a naked hillary clinton statue went up in new york in october. it was taken down within a few hours.
is it artistic and hilarious to represent politicians grotesquely and in the nude? or is it offensive, disrespectful body shaming? what’s your perspective on ginger’s creations? share under leave a reply