On August 18, statues of a nude and Rubenesque Donald Trump popped up in public places in five cities across the country. Two—in Cleveland and New York City—were almost immediately taken down by local authorities. The remaining three have been saved to varying degrees; the Los Angeles statue is in an art gallery awaiting sale by Julien's Auctions (the projected $20,000 in proceeds going to a pro-immigration group); Seattle's version was rescued and is currently on display at No Parking on Pike, an antique and resell shop of curios and oddities; and San Francisco's, well, that one is in limbo currently.
The sculptor, Joshua "Ginger" Monroe, known primarily for his work in horror movie special effects, arrived in SF yesterday hoping to retrieve the controversial original. Trump supporters hated it (which was the point), but the guerilla art also brought in some unexpected criticism from groups claiming the works to be transphobic and/or body-shaming (we'll have more on that in another story). With a perceived arrangement in place including input from Supervisor Scott Wiener who worked to save the statue, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who wanted nothing to do with the case, the SFPD, and Nick Bovis, owner of Lefty O'Doul's who was going to display the work before returning it to Monroe, it appeared that Monroe would be able to arrive, visit SF with his family as tourists, pick up his creation, and head back to Las Vegas, where he currently lives. Not so fast, said SFPD, while they try to figure out whom to charge with felony vandalism over to the $4K cost of removing the epoxy used to secure the statue at Jane Warner Plaza. So far, they haven't even approached Monroe, despite him giving pressers yesterday in town, and they did not respond to questions posed by 7x7.
So, instead of taking his baby home that he created pro bono at the behest of the activist art collective INDECLINE, Monroe is sightseeing today and planning on partying tonight at Lefty O'Doul's. When it became clear he wouldn't be able to retrieve the statue so easily, he brought a back up plan with him—half a naked Donald Trump statue (the top half), which will be resting atop the piano at the old school Union Square bar and restaurant. Patrons are invited to attend (free of charge, mind you) to take selfies with the bust and listen to a special line-up of musicians who will be playing in honor of Monroe. You can expect to see house regulars, The Irish Newsboys, a band made up of local journalists, plus special appearances by some of Deadhead Monroe's favorite players: Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company and Country Joe and the Fish, and Barry Melton (he's The Fish in the aforementioned band). They'll be playing some new songs specifically about nudity and Trump. The revelry begins at 7pm tonight. // Lefty O'Doul's, 333 Geary Street, Union Square, leftyodouls.biz