Visitors to Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago this week were able to view a new art installation just outside Trump’s namesake building. The sculpture, the work of Chicago-based artist Scott Reeder, is minimalist: just the words “REAL FAKE” in six-foot-tall, metallic gold, uppercase letters.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Reeder’s piece was installed on Monday night by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) as part of the city’s Year of Public Art program.
Most visitors see the sculpture as a direct reference to Donald Trump, who has been variously described as a “charlatan,” a “scam artist” and a “duplicitous demagogue.” One day after the piece was installed, Trump was exposed for hanging fake Time Magazine covers with his Photoshopped face on the cover on the walls of his golf clubs around the world.
However, despite Trump’s ongoing assault on “fake news” media―a designation he often slings at publications reporting things he doesn’t like—the artwork was first displayed at Art Basel in 2013, long before Trump was even a presidential candidate.
On the other hand, a spokeswoman for the city of Chicago told the Tribune, “What’s wonderful about art is that it is completely open to interpretation.” If people think it’s about Trump, especially in such stunning proximity to Trump Tower, then they’re most welcome to make that connection themselves.
Reeder’s piece is not the only work of protest art scheduled to invade Trump Tower this summer. Chicago-based architectural firm New World Design Ltd. has plans to erect golden flying pigs that would obscure Trump’s logo from view. Jeff Roberts, the head of the firm, explains:
The references are many, from flying pigs and Miss Piggy comments to a taste for gold embellished interiors. Ultimately, this is a very rational design and is in direct contrast to the chaotic nature and bizarre antics of our current leadership.
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