The City of Chicago is installing artwork across its riverwalk to celebrate the city's "Year of Public Art," and one piece in particular has been placed in a pretty prominent location: Trump Tower. A statue that says "REAL FAKE" has been placed in front of the President's shiny namesake. But according to a city spokeswoman, the artwork isn't a political statement.
"What's wonderful about art is that it is completely open to interpretation," Christine Carrino told the Chicago Tribune.
Of course, it's pretty safe to say people may "interpret" that this piece of art — which spells out "REAL FAKE" in large, golden, 5-foot letters directly across the river from Trump Tower — could quite possibly be a message for Trump himself, who is pretty fond of shouting "You are fake news" at reporters he thinks treat him unfairly. But, as city officials might argue, art is in the eye of the beholder.
The sculpture was loaned to the city by Chicago artist Scott Reeder and the local Kavi Gupta Gallery. Although it was initially created in 2013, far before any of us could have possibly imagined that Trump would one day be sitting in the Oval Office, the artwork certainly takes on a whole new meaning when placed in front of Trump Tower in 2017.
The term "fake" has taken on a whole new level of significance under Trump's presidency as the lines between fact and falsehood seem to become increasingly blurred in political rhetoric. Kellyanne Conway coined the term "alternative facts" in January, "fake news" has become a buzzword to describe any news certain political figures find distasteful or unflattering, and "post-truth" was named the word of the year by "Oxford Dictionaries" following the 2016 presidential election.
So of course, in 2017, a bright gold statue of the words "REAL FAKE" is an oddly fitting homage to our current political climate.
Of course, this isn't the first time since Trump entered the 2016 presidential race that a demonstration has taken place outside of a Trump Tower. In August, a man was apprehended by police while trying to scale the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan with suction cups, and in February, hundreds of protestors gathered to collectively moon the Trump Tower in Chicago while shouting "Kiss our asses, release your taxes."
Whether or not the statue counts as a "demonstration" is up to the individual. But one thing is clear: it's here to stay — at least for the remainder of Chicago's art fest. While the city hasn't yet announced when the statue will be removed, it is sure to be immortalized in selfies forever.