An artist and filmmaker just used Trump’s feathered doppelganger to incite a national movement.
The concept of the Trump chicken was first hatched last year by Seattle-based artist Casey Latiolais. The artist was contracted in November by Chinese real estate company Beijing Reliance Commercial Land to design the Trumpian bird to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, according to the New York Times.
He didn’t anticipate the scope of the final product: a 23-foot fiberglass statue resembling none other than the orange lunatic himself, displayed proudly in front of the North America N1 Art Shopping Center in downtown Taiyuan.
“This was way more yuge than I expected,” Latolais tweeted.
Ahem… this was way more yuge than I expected. The work I did just was unveiled! More to come https://t.co/jni2rdUkqK
— casey | latiolais (@caselat) December 28, 2016
The likeness is uncanny: Drake-sized blonde eyebrows, a scowled expression, an always-open mouth, and a golden hairdo that resembles a generous dollop of Cheese Whiz. Even the chicken’s hands (or feathers, rather) accurately mock Trump’s body language.
To evade the risk of copyright lawsuits, however, the artist feigns ignorance, insisting “any resemblance to Trump is a coincidence.” But in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Latolais admitted two similarities between the president and the chicken-in-chief: they’re both “loud and self-absorbed,” and they both tweet at sunrise.
After the original statue’s unveiling, online retailers released inflatable versions of the golden pompadoured bird, and they sold like hotcakes. So much so, in fact, that the factory was overwhelmed with orders before the end of January.
“We can barely cope,” said Factory Manager Wei Qing.
What’s Happening Now:
Earlier this week, a 10-foot by 30-foot inflatable reiteration of Latolais’ Trump chicken statue was displayed at the Ellipse—a park located directly outside the White House.
Taran Singh Brar, the artist who masterminded the plan to display the bird in Washington, spent 4 months planning and obtaining the necessary permits from the National Park Service—a process that required 3 trips to D.C.—before bringing his idea to life.
“I just kept calling, kept showing up in person and kept emailing,” said Brar.
But his efforts paid off big time. Thousands of people flocked to see the majestic creature. Donald Trump was not among them, however, as he was enjoying a 17-day vacation at his property in Bedminster, N.J.
Brar doesn’t shy away from the motivation behind the display: it’s a political statement.
This magnificent Trump Chicken brought to us by Taran Singh Brar, who hopes to organize a “chicken march” someday. pic.twitter.com/PmSbumcl5P
— Jennifer Brooks (@stribrooks) August 9, 2017
“He’s too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin, and playing chicken with North Korea,” said Brar, calling Trump a “weak and ineffective leader.”
Many onlookers quickly flocked to Twitter to share the inflatable bird with their followers. Within hours, #TrumpChicken was trending.
The cost of #TrumpChicken: $1,300.
The cost of seeing it outside the White House: priceless. pic.twitter.com/SyARthjiCY
— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 9, 2017
— The Hummingbird (@SaysHummingbird) August 9, 2017
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 9, 2017
Brar plans to continue monopolizing on the success of Trump Chicken. Per the New York Times, he plans to cash in on the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia by hosting a parade featuring a swathe of Rooster Trumps dressed in Russian military garb.