It was a huge deal — huge.
Statues of a nude Donald Trump, interlocked fingers resting on his stomach and golden hair atop his head, sparked a furor Thursday when they were discovered in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York.
The X-rated creations, mocking Trump with altered anatomies, popped up in the cities, the work of politically inclined artist collective INDECLINE.
And as authorities in each area took down the statues or made plans to do so, the national media turned its attention to the artist behind the pieces: a man known as “Ginger.”
Within hours, red-headed Las Vegas-based artist “Ginger,” who real name is Joshua Monroe, was in the spotlight.
“This has been way, way bigger than I thought it would be,” Monroe said.
The 36-year-old Monroe said he was introduced to INDECLINE representatives through a mutual friend. Monroe, who previously served as director of the now-shuttered Eli Roth’s Goretorium, had experience creating art pieces of monsters, which attracted the group’s interest.
The artist said he was leaning toward voting for Trump when he began the project and was originally uneasy about doing the pieces, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
After some of Trump’s controversial remarks over the past months, particularly the Republican presidential nominee’s disagreement with a disabled New York Times reporter, Monroe said his opinion of the candidate has soured.
While he had a good laugh about designing the statue’s drooping derriere, the assumptions of some individuals about his politics have him nearly cackling.
“A lot of people have actually labeled me a Clinton supporter. My sides hurt from laughing so much,” he said.
Branding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a criminal and Trump a blowhard, Monroe said he plans to vote for Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson.
Saying he’s had positive and negative feedback, Monroe didn’t rule out the possibility of a Clinton statue.
He said he began the $6,000 Trump project about five months ago, with directions to make Trump appear heavier than he is and to alter the appearance of private areas.
The artist, who worked for free with INDECLINE funding material costs, first created a 700-pound sculpture, then a mold and 80-pound replica statues. His one request was that a statue be placed in his hometown of Cleveland.
Initial plans called for a statue in Las Vegas, but some involved opposed installing one in “our own backyard,” he said.
Plans are in the works to create more of the statues and place them in more states and possibly other countries, Monroe said.
INDECLINE may even get around to placing one in the valley.
“Art is meant to be something that creates conversation, invokes thought and emotion in people, and this piece absolutely did that,” he said.