The American artist behind the controversial statue of Melania Trump, America’s first lady, Released bronze in his native Slovenia this week, Has defended this job as a representation of the contradictions of her husband’s presidency.
Brad Downey, a Ideological artist from Kentucky, BerlinHe said the statue, which replaced the previous wood carving, which was destroyed in a fire in July, was driven by “frustration with the policies of my home country.”
“On the one hand, people are being held in cages on the US border with Mexico, and on the other hand, I have a clear paradox that we have a first lady, English is not her mother tongue.
“I felt I could isolate this paradox and create a portrait of it.”
The statue, which stands on the trunk of a poplar tree near Sevnica in southeastern Slovenia, Trump’s hometown, is part of a project that Downey began many years ago. It culminates in a documentary, Melania, Which is a professional pipeline with no academic art school background, courtesy of craftsman Ali “Maxi” vupvc, who creates sculptures that saw the folk art chain in his spare time.
“I chose Maxi from many local artists because of the similarities between her life and Melania,” Downey said. “She was born in the same month and year and in the same hospital. Like her – her father was a mechanic and she grew up in a high place – he came from a working class family.
“I took the position that I was not going to control the aesthetics of the project. I would keep an ideological distance and would not command anything. From the moment she became the first woman I only gave her a photo to work with. ”
Downey bought the tree and cut it down at the right rate, as well as the land on which the statue stands, which gave him the right to raise it.
He paid Maxi to create a work carved from a poplar tree. It depicts a movement Melania Trump Dressed in blue wool.
The carving went unnoticed for more or less a year, until Downey arranged an informal revelation, which was widely mocked by the world media. Compare everything from a smurf to a scarecrow.
“I did not plan this as a monument,” Downey insists, “I think it’s not surprising that it’s so friendly.” Locals he contacted praised the monument. “They came to the opening, we ate cake – local melancholy dart cream and nuts, and drank wine. My parents and wife flew in. People said they liked it,” he said.
But he received hateful mail “from both the left and the right,” which he said would go hand in hand with media reactions in his current “Melania” documentary series.
“On the one hand people criticized me and said, ‘Why did you remember this woman?’ People on the other hand say, “She’s prettier than that.”
The campaign followed the tradition of monumental ethics, with a particular focus on Cold War eruptions and statues of communist leaders. Slovenia, Downey had already made the silicon casting of the wooden statue, with the aim of making its bronze version.
“After Lenin seized control of Russia following the October Revolution, he ordered the installation of thousands of wooden Lenins from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine,” Downey explained. “Over time, they slowly evolved into more permanent bronzes. This trend later expanded to China.”
When the apparent melania carving was burned on July 4 this year – some locals, Downey says, “I suspect the CIA’s involvement”, although police have not yet found the culprits – he quickly burned and removed the blisters, after which Came on display at an art exhibition.
A bronze replica was created during the lockout of Covit-19, which forced him to stay in Slovenia and was released by Maxi on Wednesday in the presence of about 20 locals who brought home-made wine with them.
Spokeswoman for Sevnica Municipality, Melania Trump’s hometown He made it clear that he refused the statue, Says the Slovenian daily Dunevnik: “This is not in line with our values of cultivating a sense of respect for our fellow human beings.”
Downey’s performance in Slovenia coincides beautifully with the recent Black Lives Matter protests over the overthrow of statues, from which the United States has faltered.
“I agree with the PLM ideas, although it is not necessary to pull the monuments, I thought in this case it was like a side effect – the monument of the monument, the critique of the monument, the notion of power and support for it.”