CLEVELAND — Protesting can be such a déclassé affair: the dirt, the sweat, the blood. The lack of gold and marble. The Trump Hut was designed to bring luxury to activism. It sits outside a Masonic temple across the Cuyahoga River from downtown, far from the action of the Republican National Convention, but it makes an eye-catching satirical point. And that point is. . . not entirely clear at first.
“Some people asked if we were pro-Trump,” says Tommy Noonan, 37, who works for an advertising-strategy agency in Brooklyn. “Some people got the joke automatically.”
The joke, of course, is that the Trump Hut is a wigwam that approximates the candidate’s hair with raffia from 98 hula skirts — or, as its minders call it, “the finest Oaxacan straw.” It’s outfitted with a “plush” IKEA rug; champagne is served inside. The Trump brand is based on luxury, so Noonan, his co-worker Douglas Cameron and Mexican-born artist Roxana Casillas created the hut to illustrate the absurdity, as they see it, of the businessman’s candidacy. It also serves as a conversation space, and allegedly can fit up to seven people. Its creators drove it from Brooklyn in a U-Haul.
“It’s difficult to move but it’s not incredibly heavy,” says Sam Levison, 25, who works with Noonan and Cameron.
Says Noonan: “It’s as clumsy as Trump’s hair.”