The Time Is Now

Support local, independent reporting.

Help the city we love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.


Art Depicting A Crucified Trump Submerged in Urine Will Be Unveiled In Portland

"We do want yellow and orange to be the [clothing] color of choice of those attending."

Next Thursday, Washington sculptor James Kelsey will unveil Piss Trump, a giant photography piece depicting Donald Trump naked, crucified and suspended in a tank of piss.

Kelsey says it's not totally his intention for Piss Trump to be inflammatory.

"I want the unveiling to be a catharsis for us," he says. "Not another reason to express anger."

Piss Trump resembles Andres Serrano's 1987 Piss Christ, a photo of a ghostly crucifix tinted yellow by the dark urine in which its submerged. The controversy over Piss Christ was exacerbated when the work won an award that was partly funded by the tax-payer supported National Endowment for the Arts, a budget that Trump has vowed to cut. 

Coincidentally, a Houston museum currently has an exhibit where they're displaying Piss Christ next to a portrait of Trump Serrano took in 2004.

An intentional reference to Serrano's work, Kelsey's piece essentially replicates the composition of Piss Christ. But of course, instead of Jesus on the cross, it's Trump, looking like a bloated and saggy troll doll. His combover sticks straight up in the air and his red tie floats away from his neck.

Kelsey has created politically neutral work for two decades. He usually creates whimsical, modernist metal sculptures for both private and public buyers.

Kelsey has been working on Piss Trump for six months. He says that even if making people angry is not his primary goal, he understands that's likely to happen.

"I'm glad they're offended," says Kelsey. "Trump was an offensive man and is now an offensive President."

"We're trying to keep the unveiling arty and classy, but we keep regressing to pee jokes," adds Kelsey. "We do want yellow and orange to be the [clothing] color of choice of those attending."

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the unveiling was tonight, when it's in fact a week from now. WW regrets this error.

SEE IT: The unveiling of Piss Trump is at Lucky Labrador, 1945 NW Quimby St., 4-8 pm, Thursday, June 22. Free.