This Artist Is Building a Wall of Cotija Cheese at the Mexican Border to ‘Make America Grate Again’

Cosimo Cavallaro is using 9,000 bricks of expired cotija cheese.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist.
Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Artist Cosimo Cavallaro is helping President Donald Trump build his controversial border wall between the US and Mexico—but his barrier is constructed not from steel and concrete, but from blocks of cotija cheese.

“I don’t like walls,” said the immigrant artist in a video promoting the project. “This is a wall that I’m willing to live with. Because this wall is a perishable—it will not last.”

Construction on Cavallaro’s six-foot-tall and three-foot-wide border wall began on Monday in Tecate, California, just 45 feet from the actual fence on the border with Tecate, Mexico, reported HuffPost. He’s hoping to highlight the absurdity of building a real wall at such a massive expense, but the Cheese Wall’s message isn’t as much political as it is an admonition against letting fear and hatred divide us from our fellow man.

“It sounds cheesy, but just love one another,” Cavallaro told the Los Angeles Times.

To fund the project, Cavallaro is running a GoFundMe campaign and selling “Make America Grate Again” merchandise. Each brick of cotija costs $100. Several producers of the hard, crumbly cow’s milk cheese, which originates in the Mexican state of Michoacán, are saving expired blocks for the artist to use.

This isn’t the first time Cavallaro has used food in his art. For previous projects he made a life-size chocolate Jesus sculpture and once covered rooms in melted mozzarella and splattered ketchup.

So far, Cavallaro has 200 blocks of cotija, but his ultimate goal is to build a 1,000-foot-wall along a quarter-mile stretch of land that he’s leased for the year—a feat that will require 9,000 blocks of cheese. As of publication time, Cavallaro has only raised $1,435 of his $300,000 goal. Readers can follow the project on the artist’s Facebook page, Art Above Ground, or on the Cheese Wall website.

“This wall is a documentation of our times,” said Cavallaro on GoFundMe, noting that by giving, “you’re actually a participant in making a work of art. I’m asking you the people: make this yours.”

See more photos of the Cheese Wall below.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US-Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro building his wall of cheese. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro building his wall of cheese. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro building his wall of cheese. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro is building a wall of cotija cheese along the US Mexico border. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.

Cosimo Cavallaro building his wall of cheese. Photo by Alan Schaffer, courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cavallaro.


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