This past March, the team at Chelsea gallery BravinLee programs and artist Jeffrey Beebe launched a Kickstarter to create Trumpy the Rat, a 15-foot-tall take on the inflatable “Scabby the Rat” that resembles President Donald Trump. Intended as an accessory for anti-Trump protests, it’s finally here, in all its creepy glory, thanks to many generous donors.
While the original design portrayed a rodent with a comb-over and dressed in a suit and extra-long tie, the finalized inflatable is unmistakably Trump. He’s more human-like, with an orange face that features a squat nose, small eyes, large ears, rippling chins, and very plump lips. Plus, his hands (which are small) form some of the President’s favorite gestures, from the air pinch to the finger point.
BravinLee’s John Lee previously told Hyperallergic that he was compelled to create a Trump rat after seeing a rat post-election results. “I’ve always marveled at how effective and disgusting the rat is,” Lee said.
The rat will make its public debut on Monday, when Trump says he will be back in his hometown. Details of the trip, however, are vague, so if you’re interested in seeing Trumpy the Rat on a sidewalk near you, Lee suggests you check BravinLee’s Twitter closer to the day.
This is not the sole Trump-like inflatable out there: vendors in China have been producing inflatable Trump roosters for months now; one actually popped up by at White House today. May rooster meet rat one day on common soil.
Update, 8/15, 9:40am: BravinLee has informed us that the Trump rat will inflate today at 12:30pm at a site within a five-block radius of Trump Tower.
“We have a spot that is approved, and we want to make sure we get in with no difficulties,” the gallery wrote in an email, “so we are holding off announcing our location till we are on site.”
Update, 8/15, 10:50am: We’ve been informed that the rat is set to appear at Grand Army Plaza, between 58th and 60th streets, just west of Fifth Avenue.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.