On Monday of this week, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events installed a statue by Chicago artist Scott Reader across the river from the Trump Tower. As is evident, the statue is simply the words "Real Fake" in gold lettering. Quite appropriate for anything associated with President Donald J. Trump. Reeder seems to have been very prescient. The statue was created in 2013, two years before Trump announced he would be running for president. I did a search at http://www.trumptwitter archive.com on the word "fake." It first appears on April 11, 2012, with it or a variation being used four more times prior to 2015, so it is open to question whether Reeder had Trump in mind when he created the statue.
This is not my favorite photograph. The City did a terrible job of positioning the statue. As a photographer, I don't want clutter in the background, but in order for the photograph to work, the "Trump" sign on the tower must be visible, which means the ugly River Walk sign and the ornate light pole become a problem. After thinking about it, I think I may have a solution to the problem, which will require a reshoot on Saturday. Yet, there may be a not-so-hidden message in the photograph. The lamp post looks like a phallus, with balls attached, albeit it too manyOf course, it is a rather large and commanding phallus. Moreover, it is literally rock hard. In that sense, it clearly is fake, or at least I suspect so. I fortunately have not had the duty of conducting an inspection.
According to the Tribune's reporting, the City claims that the meaning is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, the City is not taking a position on the Trump Administration. I have my doubts about that, but this is one of five artworks that are being displayed on Chicago's Riverwalk as part of the City's Year of Public Art.
One thing is for sure: Both residents and tourists will be out snapping photographs of themselves in front of the sign. I will be back to capture some of the fun.