LA Street Artist Who Built Wall Around Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame Star Explains Why He Did It
Plastic Jesus's viral bit of commentary sent Hollywood Boulevard into a tizzy.
Lest we forget Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s high-profile celebrity status, anonymous Los Angeles street artist Plastic Jesus has targeted the real estate mogul and former “The Apprentice” host’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a witty new art installation. On July 19 and 20, visitors to the popular tourist attraction encountered a miniature concrete wall barricading Trump’s star from the rest of the walk.
The six-inch-tall sculpture is outfitted with a tiny row of barbed wire, “Keep Out” signs, and American flags on the corner, a reference to his signature campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border.
“There’s been a lot of personal attacks on Donald Trump, both politically and by artists,” Plastic Jesus told artnet News in a phone conversation. “I think really what we should be focused on is attacking ridiculous policies that will damage the US.”
As Trump has become as popular subject for scathing political art, his star on the Walk of Fame, installed in 2007, has become a target in recent months. It has been vandalized on numerous occasions, including at least once with a swastika, and humans (and their dogs) have allegedly taken to spitting, peeing, and even defecating on the tile.
The Plastic Jesus piece was on view for only a short time on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It was attracting a huge crowd of people flocking to it to photograph themselves with this wall,” said the artist, who opted to remove it after it attracted the ire of the area’s costumed characters. “Edward Scissorhands was getting a bit upset because it was getting way more attention than he was, so he attacked it!”
The project is not the first time Plastic Jesus has eviscerated the businessman-turned-presidential candidate in his art. In April, the street artist peppered city streets in his native LA, New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, with metal parking signs reading “No Trump Anytime.” (The piece echoed Plastic Jesus’s “Kardashian Parking Anytime” piece, unveiled a year earlier.)
In September, on the occasion of the Republican debate in Southern California, Plastic Jesus inked a series of authentic-looking $100 bills bearing Trump’s orange-coiffed visage and wrapped in currency straps reading “completely worthless.” (The artist gave Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders a similar treatment, albeit with a more positive, “Bank on Bernie” spin.)
“Things like human rights, equality, freedom, and law and order—all of these things have improved drastically over the last few decades. I think Trump will actually set this country back about 30 years,” the artist told artnet News. He added that he himself had immigrated to the US from the UK nine years ago. “The US is made great by immigrants—to try and to build a wall… it’s just ludicrous!”
Vanity Fair has reported that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has denied rumors that the Hollywood Historic Trust is contemplating removing Donald Trump’s star because of all the negative attention. It remains to be seen whether the Trump star wall will help change their mind.
Plastic Jesus’s Walk of Fame stunt wasn’t even the only wall-themed protest of Trump yesterday. In Cleveland, the Republican National Convention was protested by a a coalition of activists and artists clad in “Wall Off Trump” ponchos, forming a human barrier.
Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding Trump continued inside, where speaker Laura Ingraham appeared to make a Nazi salute following her remarks.
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