American artist behind the statue of Melania Trump, the controversial American First Lady, Revealed in bronze this week in her hometown, Slovenia, Defended the work as an expression of contradictions in her husband’s presidency.
Brad Downey, ㅏ Conceptual artist from Kentucky based in Berlin, Said the statue, which replaced the woodcarvings destroyed in an arson attack in July, came from his “complaints about my hometown policy”.
“On the one hand, people are trapped in cages on the Mexican-American border, and on the other hand, in the obvious contradiction, we have the first First Lady whose English is not our first language. , His U.S. citizenship was quickly tracked as a visa for immigrants with outstanding ability. At the same time, her husband is xenophobic and anti-Islamist.
“I felt like I could separate this contradiction and make a portrait.”
Standing on a poplar tree trunk near Sevnica, Trump’s hometown in southeastern Slovenia, this statue is part of a project that Downey began several years ago. It reached its peak in the documentary. Melania, Politely portrays the artisan Aleš “Maxi” Župevc, a pipe layer specialized in making folk art chainsaw sculptures in his spare time.
“Because of the similarity between his life and Melania’s life, he chose Maxi among several local artists,” Downey said. “He was born in the same month and year as her and in the same hospital. Like her-her father was a mechanic and she grew up on a high floor-he comes from a working class family.
“I took the position that I would not control the aesthetics of the project. I keep a conceptual distance and dictate nothing. I only gave him photos to work the moment she became first lady.”
Downey bought a tree, cut it in the right proportions, bought the land on which the statue was built, and gave him the right to build it.
He paid Maxi to create a piece of poplar wood. Waving Melania Trump I wore a blue wool dress.
The piece stood on the scene somewhat unobtrusively for a year until Downey prepared for an unofficial release, and was then picked up by world media mocking most of it. Compared to everything from Smurfs to Scarecrows.
“I didn’t plan it as a meme,” argues Downey. “I think I was really surprised that it was so meme-friendly.” Local residents he contacted were grateful for the monument. “They came to the public and we ate a local Melanja Tort cake served with cream and nuts and drank wine. My parents and my wife flew away. People said they liked it,” he said.
However, he received hate mail “both left and right.” Along with the media’s response, he said it would be incorporated into the ongoing “Melania” documentary series.
“On the one hand, people criticized me and asked,’Why did you commemorate this woman?’, and on the other hand, people said, “She is a lot better-looking than that.
In accordance with the tradition of propaganda monument protocols, with a particular focus on the bust and statues of the Cold War era that deified the communist leader Slovenian, Downey last year made a silicone cast of a wooden statue to create a bronze version.
Downey explained, “After Lenin took over Russia after the October Revolution, he ordered the installation of thousands of wooden Lenins from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine.” “Over time, it slowly turned into a more permanent bronze. That trend later extended to China.”
On July 4 of this year, when a piece of wood Melania was burned in an apparent arson attack-some local residents said the police had not yet found the perpetrator, but “suspected the CIA’s involvement.” Afterwards Was exhibited in an art exhibition.
Bronze replicas were made during the Covid-19 blockade, forcing them to stay in Slovenia, and they were revealed on Wednesday in front of 20 locals who brought Maxi’s home-made wines.
A spokesman for the municipality of Sevnica, the birth city of Melania Trump, Clarified his objection to the statueSays to Dnevnic, a daily Slovenian, “It doesn’t match our values of nurturing respect for our fellow humans.”
Downey’s performance in Slovenia neatly coincided with the collapsing of the statue with the recent Black Lives Matter protests staggering the United States.
“I agree with the BLM idea, but it doesn’t necessarily bring down a monument, but I thought it was a monumental side effect of monumentalism, awareness of power, and the monument to criticize those who support it. ”