Oakland artist brings giant Trump head to Lake Merritt for people to roll around, get dirty

Photo: Larry McSpadden/Instagram
By Jay Barmann - Published on October 26, 2020.

A giant papier-mache head of Donald Trump landed on the shore of Lake Merritt on Saturday. The interactive art piece, titled "Let’s Roll Trump Out of Office," is the work of Oakland artist Larry McSpadden who says it has been three years in the making.

"Every day, it’s unfathomable that this person is leading or pretending to lead this country,” McSpadden tells OU Daily, adding that he did "nothing else" besides work on this piece over the last three years. "All of these three years, I have still been stoked to create this project. It seems kind of amazing to me because I’ve never worked on a piece for this long."

McSpadden says the inspiration for the piece came during a march around Lake Merritt three and a half years ago in which Oakland residents were protesting and mourning the inauguration.

The cartoonish sculpture stands six-and-a-half-feet tall, and it's meant to be rolled around in the grass and dirt. It also has a panel on the bottom that opens to reveal the president's "whirlwind of ridiculous ideas," as well as Twitter bird logos and more. Below are videos from Saturday's inaugural roll.

View this post on Instagram

Roll trump out of office! #voteblue #bidenharris2020 #dumptrump

A post shared by Larry McSpadden (@45rolling) on

McSpadden says that the art piece is meant to be scuffed up and destroyed, and he hopes it will look terrible and sad when the time comes to toss it away. 

"I’m going to go with the idea [that it will be destroyed], although my many friends and wife think it’s kind of sad to damage it,” McSpadden tells OU Daily. “And I think they are right, but the president we have is even sadder.”

He's invited Bay Area residents to come and roll the head around the lake, but they should do so in masks and gloves for safety reasons.

“There’s an element where we can all participate — anybody can help roll the sculpture,” he says. “Hopefully then I get some sort of catharsis with the whole stressful thing of having this president."

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