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Meet the Man Behind the Big Inflatable Trump Rat Mocking Him in New York

Aug 15, 2017

Donald Trump might not make it onto Mount Rushmore, but he's popped up in unflattering balloon form again.

This time, it's in his hometown in the style of the inflatable rats that union workers use to strike against construction sites employing non-union labor. This new 15-foot, unmissable Trump inflatable piece appeared at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, down the street from Trump Tower, hours before the President was scheduled to arrive on Monday.

The orange-faced, rat-human hybrid has extra voluminous ears, pursed lips, buck teeth, that unmistakable red tie, a long tail, and an extra dig: Confederate flag cufflinks. Unsurprisingly, the spectacle drew crowds and tourists for selfies.

It's all the brainchild of New York City-based BravinLee art gallery owners John Lee and his wife Karin Bravin, who view Trump as "unprepared" to lead. Inspiration came when Lee saw a grotequse looking rat on Jackson Avenue in Queens right after the election. "I was just always impressed with how grotesque the rat was as public art," he told TIME.

It's the first overtly political statement the owners of the mom and pop art gallery have launched. "All I could do is to ridicule," Lee said. "Ridicule is a very important tool in taking on the powerful."

Lee said the rat will be up for "as long as Trump is in the White House," and its next stop is Washington, D.C.

Trump returned home to Trump Tower on Monday for the first time since his inauguration, and was met by protesters and a much smaller throng of supporters.

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