You may have seen the photos. There was a life-sized sculpture of Donald Trump erected in various parks around the country this week.
The scene gained national attention because the statues were naked and, shall we say, less than flattering of the Republican presidential candidate.
People in New York, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle were able to gawk and take selfies long enough for the images to go viral before various authorities removed the statues.
The project, "The Emperor Has No Balls," was part of a larger initiative of the anarchist art collective INDECLINE, and the person behind the sculptures hails right here from Henderson.
His name is Joshua Monroe, an artist who goes by Ginger.
“They were looking to have this project accomplished by somebody who could pull it off and looking at several different styles of artists and when they found my work, which normally revolves around monsters, horror, Halloween, stuff like that…. Once they had seen my sculptures and pieces they said this is our man,” Monroe told KNPR's State of Nevada.
Monroe is not part of the INDECLINE collective but he knew he couldn't turn down the chance to create a work that would get worldwide attention.
“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do an art piece that was this astronomical,” he said, "I looked at it as a great opportunity to advance my art career. Try a few new things as an artist.”
Monroe knew the response would be big, he just didn't realize how big it would be. He spent most of last week talking to reporters from around the world.
The statue is far from flattering. Monroe said the group that commissioned the work wanted it to be naked, life-like and to have no testicles. He said they also wanted it to have a presidential-like pose.
However, Monroe was clear that the statue was not his political statement, and in fact, at one time, he was considering voting for Donald Trump.
“He’s a better person than Hillary Clinton in my opinion,” he said. “I’m a very staunch anti-Hillary person.”
In fact, he said if there was interest he would make a Hillary statue.
“If somebody were to approach me or show interest in the Hillary sculpture and if I had creative freedom to make it the way I want," he said, "There would be a lot more lawsuits and things going on there because I would be absolutely brutal and vicious”
Monroe brushed aside of the criticisms of the piece that had nothing to do with the presidential race, including the critique that the statue is body shaming.
“I don’t look at it as body shaming whatsoever. It is more so personality and soul shaming," he said, "That shows a little bit more of who he is and his character, not so much his body.”
He also said the statue was not meant to be 'age shaming,' trans phobic or gender-phobic, which he says are all criticisms that have been launched his way.
Monroe believes the statue is part of a long history in America of using art for political statements.
"We have First Amendment rights. We have the right to do that. We have the right mock and hold a mirror up to political figures because this is America," he said.
Joshua Monroe, aka Ginger, Henderson-based artist
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