People pose for selfies with a naked statue of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that was left in Union Square Park in New York City on Aug. 18, 2016.
Brendan McDermid—Reuters
By Nate Hopper
August 18, 2016
IDEAS
Hopper is opinions editor for TIME Ideas.

In New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Cleveland, life-size statues of Donald Trump in the nude stand in public. They were placed there by the anarchist collective Indecline, which among other projects has also glued the names of black men killed by police officers onto blank stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Trump project is titled after a genital omission each statue shares, “The Emperor Has No Balls.” It’s an escalation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 parable about a ruler so overconfident that he believes he’s wearing the world’s finest clothes, even when parading in the nude through his realm, beneath “his splendid canopy”—until a child breaks his delusion.

The artist who constructed the statues goes by the name Ginger and is a regular keynote speaker at haunted house conventions. He told the Washington Post, “When the [Indecline organization] approached me, it was all because of my monster-making abilities.” According to the Post, he spent 25 hours weekly since receiving the commission in April, and worked through 300 pounds of clay and silicone, to construct the statues. A video of the process seems to show at one stage there was a human model:

Ginger, who has physically and mentally handicapped family members, told the paper, “The straw that broke the camel’s back was when [Trump] made fun of the disabled reporter from the New York Times.”

Trump has a history of taking offense to commentary on his anatomy and has discussed the matter himself in a nationally televised debate.

In New York, park employees have removed the statue from the city’s bustling Union Square park. The likeness then rode through the city in an uncovered pickup truck.

Update: The New York City Parks Department sent Gothamist the following statement about the removal of the structure: “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”

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