In August, you may recall, statues of a naked Donald Trump, sporting an oversized belly, among other things, appeared in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Cleveland. They were placed there by an anarchist collective called INDECLINE.
On Tuesday, a caricature in the form of a statue of an almost naked Hillary Clinton was placed just outside the Bowling Green subway station at around 6 a.m., which caused an uproar.
The life-size representation displayed her bare breasts with the head of a Wall Street banker resting his head on one. His lips were puckered, as if he was preparing to nurse from Clinton. One arm wrapped around her large belly, grasping it. Clinton’s face was twisted into a grotesque smile and, in addition, the statue depicted her with cloven hoofs beneath the knee.
If you’re just dying to see the whole thing, click here for a link to the New York Daily News story, which includes a photograph.
The statue wasn’t up for three hours, the New York Daily News reported, before a furious bystander named Nancy (she refused to give her last name) knocked it to the ground and yelled, “This is obscene.”
“To put something up like this in front of my workplace . . . I shouldn’t have to see this,” she later said.
In a video captured by the newspaper, this woman continuously stomped on the statue and at one point sat on it, as its reported creator, 27-year-old Anthony Scioli, attempted to place it upright.
Finally, police officers arrived at around 8:30 a.m. and forced Scioli to remove the statue. No one was arrested.
Inevitably, some are arguing that the two statues, Trump and Clinton, are not equivalent.
Nude Donald Trump statue raises eyebrows in SF https://t.co/1deTwNb2S3 via @abc7newsbayarea— AutismMom (@CharlieHackett8) September 19, 2016
As Carin Kuoni, a professor of contemporary art and political engagement at The New School, told the Associated Press, the Clinton statue can be easily viewed as offensive rather than satirical.
“The history of how the female body appears has clearly been so negatively coded and inscribed that it makes for a completely different intervention when you see the sculpture of a naked woman than when you see a naked man,” she said.
Others saw a double-standard at work.
“It is absolutely unfair and ridiculous,” Michael Bauer, 23, a business student at Baruch, told the New York Post, referring to Nancy’s protest of the statue. “I bet that lady laughed when she saw the Trump thing online and yet got super-pissed at this. Like, where is your logic?”
As for the alleged artist, Scioli, he told the Daily Beast he would not “confirm or deny being this particular artist of interest. I will however say how much I appreciate the exposure this piece is garnering. It is a firm personal belief that satire brings us closer to the root of the truth of issues and I find it rather unfortunate that in these divisive times, rather than spur a healthy, more lighthearted debate, it only seems to have led to more strife.”
Naked Trump statue- bold,funny, free speech— PollySolipsism🏴 (@PollySpin) October 18, 2016
Naked Hillary Statue- obscene, rage inducing, war on women
It's only ok if it's anti GOP: Naked statue of Hillary Clinton in downtown Manhattan causes fight during morning commute— Live Monitor (@amlivemon) October 18, 2016
It’s important to note, though, that one of the women in Trump’s life, his wife, Melania, was also pulled into this shaming-via-nudity tactic that’s been used in this election when the New York Post published a fully nude photograph of her on the front page with the all-caps headline reading, “The Ogle Office.”
Inside its pages were more explicit photographs of the woman who might become the nation’s first lady.