Trump Statue Initiative
The Trump Statue Initiative is a protest art project headed by director Bryan Buckley with support from Bradley Tusk. Noting "Trump is obsessed with statues", Buckley and his team have created pop-up living statues criticizing former President Donald Trump and actions taken during his presidency.
The exhibitions are prepared in partnership with local artists within each city. They often appear with little to no notice, and vanish within hours.
To date, there have been four installations across three cities, with several works included in each installation. The exhibits feature performers costumed and painted gold to mimic statues, placed on quick-built plinths with various inscriptions on them. These include:
July 2020: Washington D.C.
- The Poser, living statue, memorializing the Donald Trump photo op at St. John's Church event. Erected July 17, 2020, western end of Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.
- The Bunker, living statue, depicting Trump's evacuation to the White House bunker with Trump cowering and holding "Teddy Barr". Erected July 17, 2020, Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.
- Now Go Back To School, living statue, showing making a demand to a student. Erected July 17, 2020, eastern end of Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.
August 2020: Portland, Oregon
Three exhibits were placed in Portland, Oregon's Waterfront Park near Salmon Street Springs. The statues were joined by military veterans who read out Trump's statements of support for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
- An Ode to Putin, living statue, showing a minivan abducting protesters in Portland, Oregon, while Trump uses a selfie stick. Erected August 3, 2020.
- Some Federal Property We Can Attack, living statue, erected August 3, 2020, Portland, Oregon.
- I Just Wish Her Well Frankly, depicting Trump kneeling in prayer to Ghislaine Maxwell with a picture of Trump with Maxwell. Living statue, erected August 3, 2020, Portland, Oregon.
September 2020: Washington, D.C.
- "I Will Fight Racism Nov 3", September 7, 2020, Kalorama, Washington, D.C.
- "He's The Fraud", faux shadow of a blue mailbox, September 7, 2020, Penn Quarter, Washington D.C.
- "Fight Fascism Nov 3", faux shadow of a blue mailbox in front of the US Department of Agriculture, September 7, 2020, Washington D.C.
September 2020: New York City
A collaboration with Illuminator Art Collective, several projections appeared around New York City accompanying mail boxes. The projections took the form of quote bubbles, making the mail boxes appear to be speaking - the messages were in support of the US Postal Service, and were mostly derisive jokes aimed at President Trump.
- The Final Push, depicting Trump driving a golf cart while filmed by Fox News, crashing into tombstones depicting COVID deaths and denigrating troops. Erected September 8, 2020, Battery Park New York City.
- The Giant vs The Stealer, living statue, New York City.
- Good Boy, Now Sit, living statue depicting Trump holding a BLM sign with bullet holes and Kyle Rittenhouse holding a gun with spent rounds at his feet. New York City.
October 2020: Washington, D.C.
Collaborating again with lluminator Art Collective, messages were projected on the front of the Trump International Hotel, the front of the Environmental Protection Agency building, and the lawn of the Washington Monument.
- Trump International Hotel, messages included "have you seen our luxurious hotel for children," "guess where maids pay more taxes than the hotel owner?" and "stay one night and get one dirty political favor for free (offer expires 11/4/20)
- Environmental Protection Agency building depicted industrial smokestacks billowing smoke into the clouds over each column of the building facade, with "Trump's 2020" written above. Another graphic displayed deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's eye with a tear running down one of the building's columns.
- Washington Monument lawn included the message "figures we get this first. And the world's biggest asshole came second" and also separately featured the graphic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg again.
- Fill That Seat, depicting Trump urinating into the empty seat of deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Erected October 27, 2020, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
- Don't Be Afraid, living statue depicting Trump standing between two graves, mourned by a medical worker and fire fighter in reference to the COVID-19 outbreak and West Coast Forest Fires. The title is based on Trump's proclamation on Twitter that COVID-19 is nothing to fear after he recovered from the virus. Erected October 27, 2020, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
- The Poser, a reprisal of the living statue erected in Freedom Plaza on July 17, memorializing the Donald Trump photo op at St. John's Church event. Erected October 27, 2020, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
- Safety For The Suburban Housewife, living statue depicting Trump peeking up the skirt of a housewife as he supports her ladder. Erected October 27, 2020, Outside Trump International Hotel, Washington, DC.
- Sarah Cascone (21 July 2020). "Golden 'Statues' Memorializing Donald Trump's Most Divisive Moments Have Popped Up Around Washington, D.C." artnet News. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Sharp, Sarah Rose (6 August 2020). "Living Statues Mock Donald Trump's Scandals". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Alex Hardgrave (3 August 2020). "Waterfront statues depict President Donald Trump's 'legacy,' Trump Statue Initiative member says". oregonlive. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Crystal Ligori; Tiffany Camhi (6 August 2020). "Living statues in Portland push a satirical response to Trump administration actions". opb. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Ann-Christine Diaz (20 July 2020). "'King of the Super Bowl' Bryan Buckley trolls Trump with living statues in D.C." adage.com. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Andrew Beaujon (17 July 2020). "Living Statues Mocking Trump Appeared Near the White House Today, and They Look Amazing". Washingtonian. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- David Villarreal (3 July 2020). "Golden Trump 'Statue' Shows BLM Protester Detained in Unmarked Fed Vehicle". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Alicia Cohn (17 July 2020). "Artists install anti-Trump living statues around DC". TheHill. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- @obeeeeeeeone (4 August 2020). "Donald Trump and his Teddy Barr. We learned a lot about product placement from #goyafoods @realdonaldtrump". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- Diaz, Ann-Christine (4 August 2020). "Bryan Buckley trolls Trump again with more living statues in Portland". adage.com. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (6 August 2020). "Powerful imagery of our first installation by @str34mtv @bryanedwardcreative #TSI #vote2020 #kidnappingprotestorsisfascism #portland #art #installation". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (4 August 2020). "The first of 3 of our installations. "Ode to Putin" depicts Trump taking a selfie while a federal agent in an unmarked van snatches a BLM protestor and pulls him in, symbolizing recent events in Portland. The reference to Putin is a representation of how he responds to political dissent, while demonstrating Trump's admiration for him. Alongside this living statue, we had three local veterans (whom had served in Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq just to name a few) recite a long list of pro Putin tweets that Trump has written. Like everything Don does, there's a tweet for it. #TSI #vote2020 #livingstatues #odetoPutin #kidnappingprotestorsisfascism". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (4 August 2020). "Second of 3 - "Some Federal Property We Can Attack" Our desire to immortalize Trump's desperate plot to stamp out democracy in his final months of presidency. This represents his recent statements against mail in voting. You won't stop us DONALD! #TSI #vote2020 #votebymail🇺🇸 #votebymailisnotfraud". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (4 August 2020). "Third of 3 - "I Just Wish Her Well Frankly" This powerful installation depicts Trump kneeling in prayer against a photo of himself, Melania, and two accused child sex traffickers, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. This symbolizes one of Trump's creepiest moments, at the expense of our children. Standing next to our installation, 13 year old Portland native, Gia, is lighting candles to honor and bring strength and healing for every young girl that was sexually abused at the hands of Maxwell and Epstein. #TSI #vote2020 #creeps #jeffreyepstein #ghislainemaxwell #whataboutthevictims". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (7 September 2020). "✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 Up if you're with us. Thanks @obeeeeeeeone @chalkriot @robinfader @ellenbergb23 for spreading the message. We especially love this NWDC location because this neighborhood is home to many faces and names you'll recognize, including the Obamas, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Jeff Bezos, and Postmaster DeJoy himself. Here's to hoping that when one of these high profile resident's assistants (really hoping for Kushner) brought them their mail, they extended the memo. Kalorama residents were very contributory, some exclaiming "Take it to DeJoy's front step! Shove it in his mailbox!" We love good ideas, and maybe we will.. #powertothepeople #protestart #USPS #TSI #vote2020 #FDT #storyofthestreet". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (7 September 2020). "It speaks for itself. # vote2020 #protestart #FDT #TSI @obeeeeeeeone @chalkriot @robinfader @ellenbergb23". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (7 September 2020). "Can't stop, won't stop. @obeeeeeeeone @robinfader @chalkriot @ellenbergb23 #fightfascism #makeamericasmartagain #makeamericakindagain # vote2020 #TSI #FDT". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- @trumpstatueinitiative (8 September 2020). "The Final Push, boosted by Fox News, while doing what Agent Orange does best: golfing, right over the graves of those he deemed "losers" and "suckers" for serving our country, and the 180,000+ who perished from COVID-19. #votethemout #hesthefraud #vote2020 #TSI #thefinalpush". Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via Instagram.
- Sommerfeldt, Chris (8 September 2020). "NYC visited by 'living statue' of Trump riding golden golf cart through COVID-19 cemetery". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- @RelicTrump (9 September 2020). "GOOD BOY, NOW SIT. Trump continues to fan the flames of unrest. We demonstrated in front of Fox News, whom also sustained that Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in "self defense". #vote2020 #TSI #FoxNews #trumpstatueinitiative @FoxNews" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- O'Connell, Oliver (September 9, 2020). "'Living statue' portraying Trump and Fox News hosts desecrating war dead and Covid-19 victims' graves appears in NYC". The Independent. via Yahoo!
- "There's a Living Statue of Trump Peeing on RBG's Court Seat in Front of the Lincoln Memorial". Washingtonian. 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
- "'Living Statues' Mock The President In Front Of Lincoln Memorial And Trump Hotel". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-12-08.