GOWANUS, BROOKLYN — The mystery artist who set up an angry sculpture of President Donald Trump in the Gowanus Canal last week has been unveiled — and it isn’t their first time using art to get a dig at the president.
Phil Gable, the same artist who set up Trump statues inviting dogs to pee on them last year, was the one who set up the inflatable commander-in-chief, the Brooklyn Paper reports.
The Park Slope artist told the Paper that the sculpture is meant to return Trump to his natural environment — the swamp.
“I felt like that was really the natural place where he should be — in a canal of toxic water,” Gable said. “He wanted to drain the swamp when in fact he has become the swamp.”
Gable said the float was built out of a mannequin, padding, a swimming pool ring and rubber snakes meant to give more of a “multi-tentacle” look to the president.
The presidential statue was anchored under the Carroll Street Bridge — the same weekend of the neighborhood’s popular arts event, Gowanus Open Studios — and first spotted Sunday morning by a reader of local blog Pardon Me For Asking.
The reader said they thought the president hadn’t been in the polluted waters long given the canal’s “goo” was just starting to collect around the snakes at its base, which it turns out is correct — Gable put the sculpture in the 1.8-mile canal that Friday.
The statue becoming polluted by the canal’s toxic sludge will actually be part of the art piece’s statement, though, Gable told the Paper.
“With the opening of the impeachment inquiry, I feel like having a barometer to see the toxicity creep back and break him down a bit will be fun,” said Gable. “As he becomes more mentally unhinged we can see him physically decay as well.”
Like Gable’s “Trump stumps,” which were set up around Park Slope with “Pee on Me” signs, the Gowanus statue got mixed reactions from neighbors.
One reader contended that art shouldn’t disrespect the office of the president and argued that those praising the piece wouldn’t feel the same had it been a statue of former President Barack Obama.
But others found the humor in the art piece.
“This does my heart a world of good!” one reader wrote. “Made my day, thanks!”
Gable did not immediately return Patch’s request for comment.