The first-ever monument of Melania Trump, the First Lady of the United States, was erected on a riverbank in her hometown Slovenia last week. However, the life-size sculpture has been receiving mixed reviews. While some jokingly say that it resembles the cartoon character Smurfette, some are calling it a "complete disgrace".
The first Melania Trump monument was erected on a riverbank in her hometown Slovenia
The statue, titled Melania, was commissioned by Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey and carved with a chainsaw out of a tree trunk by Ales "Maxi" Zupevc, a local pipe layer and folk artist. It depicts the First Lady at her husband’s inauguration, wearing a blue dress from Ralph Lauren.
The First Lady at her Donald Trump’s inauguration
Downey, who is known for artistic pranks, said he commissioned the piece due to the anti-immigration rhetoric from the US, and that it is a "blatant contradiction" to the fact that President Donald Trump is married to an immigrant. Downey insisted that the sculpture is a "serious" piece of art.
“Since the current political situation popped up, I felt compelled to inject a bit of my voice into this narrative,” Downey told The New York Times. “The idea to commission the first monument to Melania has some cheekiness to it, but I wanted to do a serious investigation there.”
Downey, during the research stage of the project, visited the hospital where Melania Trump was born. He searched the records for someone who was born there around the same time in April to carve the statue and found Zupevc. “She might come and see the thing,” says Zupevc in a video by Downey about the making of Melania. “She might like it.”