How much would you pay for a statue of a naked Donald Trump?
If the answer is anything less than $28,000 you would have been outbid in a street art sale at Julien’s Auctions on May 2.
That’s a significant increase on the $22,000 the statue last sold for in 2016, a figure that reflects its rarity but also the effectiveness of the guerrilla campaign it was made for.
The love it or hate it lot was one of five deployed at exactly 11AM central in five major US cities (New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, LA and Seattle) by anarchist art collective INDECLINE in August 2016. That’s four months before Trump was elected to the presidency.
All were almost immediately removed, but not before the piece went viral. New York’s parks department explained at the time that the city "stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small".
The lot, titled The Emperor has no Balls, was made by LA based artist Joshua "Ginger" Monroe, who usually makes statues for haunted houses.
This is the last of the original five not to have been destroyed or vandalised and appears to be the one placed in Cleveland. Monroe explained in an interview with Cleveland.com in September 2016: “We went down to the Cleveland Heights Police Department and they were very gracious and allowed us to pay an impound fee and get him out.”
In all seven of these statues were made. Monroe also received two commissions from a New Jersey arts collective, who chose to display the statues on a warehouse roof on Newark Avenue.
The buyer this time was Zak Bagans, the host of the Travel Channel’s popular paranormal investigations show Ghost Adventures. Bagans plans to display the statue in The Haunted Museum, his attraction in Las Vegas, which already displays euthanasia doctor Jack Kevorkian’s VW van and a chair from the room Michael Jackson died in. It’s unclear whether Bagans believes this statue to be haunted.