Mary Altaffer / AP
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 | 8:45 p.m.
What was created in Las Vegas has not stayed in Las Vegas. Five life-sized statues of a naked Donald Trump, showing off a miniaturized member, appeared across the country early Thursday and stirred up a frenzy on social media.
They had the telltale orange skin tone, slicked-back yellow hair, blank stare and a very small private part to align with small hands that America heard all about during the Republican presidential debates. And they turned up mysteriously Thursday morning in New York, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle before being removed by officials.
A statue in New York’s Union Square quickly drew the attention of people, many of whom posed for photographs with it, before it was removed by the city’s parks department.
“NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small,” parks spokesman Sam Biederman joked.
Soon, many were asking who was responsible.
It was Las Vegas resident Joshua Monroe, who goes by Ginger because of his red hair and beard. He created the statues at cost for anarchy art collective INDECLINE.
Ginger moved to Las Vegas in 2012 to become the art director for Eli Roth’s Goretorium on the Strip, creating monstrous beings such as werewolves and demons for haunted houses and horror films. Trump, Ginger said, is no different.
“I had foresight to see it was going to be something major and I definitely wanted to be a part of this ’cause as an artist, getting work out there and having work seen is everything,” he said. “I knew it would grab headlines but it definitely grabbed more than I thought.”
INDECLINE contacted him after seeing his Goretorium artwork. Ginger said he met with the collective in secret, never speaking on the phone, and kept the project under wraps for several months before it was unveiled Thursday morning.
A representative of INDECLINE named the project “The Emperor Has No Balls,” inspired by Scandinavian storyteller Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
The group’s other projects have included putting the names of African-Americans killed by police over the inlaid stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and painting the words “This Land Was Our Land” across an unused airstrip in the Mojave Desert.
Ginger said INDECLINE paid for the materials to complete it, which cost about $6,000. Ginger, who works a full-time job, said he averaged three to four hours of sleep each night during the four to five months he spent producing the statues.
When the works were completed, he turned the work over to INDECLINE.
“I did not install them,” he said. “I made them, and what they did (INDECLINE) with them was their business.”
Ginger did the project for free with the only condition being that at least one of the statues be placed in Cleveland, where he grew up. He said he was devastated to find out that the statue placed there was the first to be removed.
It was a risk, but he knew it could help boost his art career. There might also be an opportunity to make and sell more statues.
He knew there would be uproar. He stressed he wasn’t a fan of shaming a presidential candidate.
“I’m not a skinny person myself,” he said. “But there was certain criteria that the INDECLINE guys wanted me to meet, and that was one of them.”
And get this: He’s planning to create a naked Hillary Clinton, too.
Ginger initially planned to vote for Trump, but now he’s backing Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate.
“I was leaning toward voting for (Trump), but he actually dug such a deep hole with his mouth that he’s made more people afraid and cry than Freddy Kruger,” Ginger said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.