In 2016, five contentious, life-sized statues depicting an unclothed Donald Trump caused quite the controversy around the United States. Los Angeles-based auction house Julien’s Auctions will offer the last of the series at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City to the highest bidder this spring, and it’s expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.
Created by a Las Vegas-based artist named Ginger who specializes in designing horror film and haunted house monsters, the statues were commissioned by the anarchist collective INDECLINE. The clay and silicone figures popped up in public spaces spanning New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Seattle, amassing laughs, stares, and shares—as well as scrutiny.
The guerrilla installations did the current U.S. President absolutely no favors, but INDECLINE was hellbent on deeply humiliating the man who is so easily offended but seemingly untouchable. A spokesperson for INDECLINE told the Washington Post that the name of the series, The Emperor Has No Balls, was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes—a cautionary tale of arrogance, narcissism, and ultimately, nudity.
Four of the five statues were subsequently destroyed; after the NYC Parks Department removed the effigy on brief view in Manhattan, their spokesman told Gothamist that “NYC Parks stands firmly against any un-permitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”
“When [INDECLINE] approached me, it was all because of my monster-making abilities,” Ginger told the Washington Post. “Trump is just yet another monster, so it was absolutely in my wheelhouse to be able to create these monstrosities.”
Bidders in the market for the last naked Trump statue can register to bid on the auction house’s website, or bid in person or over the phone on May 2, 2018. Artworks by other dissident and controversial artists such as Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Paul McCarthy, and KAWS will also go under the hammer at Mana Contemporary’s first-ever street art auction.