A stark-naked likeness of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on a Los Angeles street corner early Thursday morning — and boy, is it unflattering.
It has a large pot belly, exaggerated varicose veins, a saggy butt, an expression that the artist described as a “constipated scowl” and other unenviable features.
Although the plastic effigy has delighted Trump foes in East Hollywood, it failed to amuse Los Angeles officials, who quickly ordered its removal from the sidewalk at Hollywood Boulevard and Rodney Drive.
After a brief standoff in which the city threatened to cart the statue off, a business owner offered to place the object on private property instead.
"First thing I thought was that it was hilarious," said Ian Randolph, a cashier at Soap Plant and Wacko, the quirky gift shop and gallery that now displays the statue on its front steps.
But that wasn’t the end of the matter. About 3:45 p.m. Thursday, two officers from the Los Angeles Police Department showed up at the store and told its manager that the statue had to be taken indoors.
Apparently, someone had complained that it was obscene and that it was attracting large crowds who were blocking the sidewalk.
Matt Kennedy, the manager of the property’s gallery, told the officers that the statue was a work of art and should be allowed to stay where it is. The officers said they would need to consult with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office and would get back to him.
The Trump statue was one of a handful installed in major cities across the nation by Indecline, a group that bills itself as an anarchist arts collective.
Trump’s pot-bellied likeness also appeared in San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland and New York, his hometown.
The statues were “really just in response to our disdain for Trump making it as far as he did,” said an anonymous spokesman for the group.
The man responsible for creating the statues goes by the name Ginger and typically creates monsters for haunted houses and horror films — which is why Indecline approached him, he said.
“I was very crunched for time,” he said of the effort. “I actually have a day job where I’ve been working 15 to 20 hour days, six days a week. So coming home and trying to knock out the statues was very hard and time-consuming.”
The Cleveland and New York statues didn’t last long — they were both torn down in less than three hours, said the Indecline spokesman, who was in New York.
“We just watched the statue get ripped down and violently get ... thrown on the back of a city worker’s truck,” he said.
But in Los Angeles, the statue continues to attract “a lot of curious passersby,” said Patricia Fetters, the book manager at Soap Plant & Wacko.
“No one expects a naked Trump in front of your store,” she said.
Times staff writer Matt Stevens contributed to this report.
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