By now you’ve heard the sensational news of five Donald Trump statues, The Emperor Has No Balls, that were placed around the country. If you haven’t heard about it, you can read about it in Slate, the Daily Beast and in the The Washington Post – just to name a few. Even Chris Hodapp, over at Freemasons for Dummies, made a mention of it (taking no public sides in the political debate) on the day the statues appeared.
As strange as the appearance of this statue was, even stranger was the inclusion of a Masonic Ring on the nude presidential contender, rendering a strange message on an even stranger figure upon which to associate it. The inclusion reminded me of a certain car commercial that ran during a certain super football game in 2013 with a devilish Willem DaFoe (you can read about it here and here) sporting the square and compass on his finger which ended up garnering nearly 3000 signatures to have the image removed.
And yet, here we have another example of the iconic square and compass stealthy sneaking its way back into the material culture*, now poised eloquently on one of the most in-eloquent of presidential candidates in an unflattering of pose. Alas, the Hans Christian Andersen appellation of the Emperor Has No Clothes is perhaps one allegorical tale to be told about the presidential contender. But, an emperor without balls, wearing a Masonic Ring? The only question I can imagine on the minds of most Freemasons (after the obvious statement of how ludicrous it is) is …why? Why a Masonic ring on a naked Donald Trump?
I wondered that too. So, I asked the artist behind the statue “Ginger” (aka Joshua Monroe), why. Why a naked Donald Trump wearing only a Masonic Ring?
I should probably say that replicas of the sculpture, which are now priced at $10,000 with multiple buyers lining up, was a commissioned piece by the activist collective Indecline. In a recent press release, Indecline says “Museums in Miami (Wynwood), Germany, Arizona and California have also contacted INDECLINE in attempts to secure Trump statues for gallery shows.” The statue (and by circumstance, the ring upon it) further seeps into the material culture.
This was my conversation with the artist Ginger about it.
GS: A masonic ring is a pretty unique thing to have on hand, even for an artist. After watching the making of video where you cast the model (at bottom), was the ring the models or something you had on hand in your studio?
Ginger: It was not very hard to acquire the ring. Then the model was not [a mason] as I believe most Mason’s would want nothing to do with a project like this. I meant absolutely no disrespect to the Masons but they are the world’s most recognizable secret society.
GS: It’s an interesting juxtaposition, the naked figure clad only in a Masonic square and compass ring. The Washington Post mentioned that it represented his (Trumps) access to secret or elitist power (attributing to the artist “emblematic of privilege, secret handshakes and cloistered groups of powerful people”). I’m curious, as an artist, is that a real part of the philosophy you see in [Trump] or just a design element meant to connect disparate elements into a new reality? Was the inclusion of the ring just a “secret society” prop, or did you mean to link the “naked emperor” with a Masonic ring as his only garment (which itself has a strangely symbolic reverse meaning within Freemasonry)?
Ginger: The reason that I myself chose to put the Masonic ring into the sculpture was to symbolize the fact that Donald Trump, who I know is not a mason, is most definitely involved in secret dealings and secret societies that the general public will never be aware of.
My grandfather was a high-ranking mason. I myself, being a legacy, have been asked to join several times by several members. As far as owning the Mason’s ring there’s actually artist and vendors that sell them on the street.
GS: Having a background in art, I think I understand how the ring is being used, but I know that a huge community of Freemasons are just dumbstruck (if not outright offended) at its use. Knowing that it’s the artist prerogative to choose what goes in or stays out of a piece is their own, I wonder what your thought is about how the community-at-large reads or interprets the association? Do you have any thought on how the community of Freemasons would interpret the inclusion? (Do you care or does it matter?)?
Ginger: I considered it a very tongue and cheek wink to the secret societies and their Quest To Rule The World. I have many friends who are masons and they joke about their meetings being held Pinky and the Brain style to try and take over the world. But it’s mostly crappy food that their wives have made. I myself have done lots of Charity and volunteer work and that’s why I’ve been approached by Masons I respect what you do and I hope you guys are not offended.
GS: I’m curious, do you see Trump as an emperor with no cloths because of what he’s done before the election or because he’s running now? Do you think it’s that secret access that makes him so naked?
Ginger: The title of the installment was actually set in stone long before the collective even found me as an artist.
The overall concept and look was their idea and their political statement. I am just the artist who brought it to life. However it was my idea to add the Mason ring not to insult Masons but [it] suggests his involvement in secret societies.
Also the saggy inflamed butt was my idea.
And there you have it.
The Emperor Has No Balls from Indecline on Vimeo.
*Material culture is defined as: the physical evidence of a culture in the objects and architecture they make, or have made. The term tends to be relevant only in archaeological and anthropological studies, but it specifically means all material evidence which can be attributed to culture, past or present.
From Wikipedia, Material Culture.
Shameful. Interesting Tattoos on the creator of the statue. I wonder what the Hell raiser tattoo symbolizes to him.
You’re an idiot, years of running Galleries and exhibiting my own work has brought to my attention that some people it’s not enough to have a concept but to be a knee-jerk reaction junkie you know full well he has nothing to do with the charity and will meaning of the Masons yet you put it on there anyway just to cause controversy on what would have been otherwise a pretty cool idea but the statues themselves perhaps you may look into turning them into pinatas …
We do not solicit for members. To be one YOU must ask one
An insult to Masons and nudists alike!
Cheap shot…many words come to mind but “artist” is not one of them.
This is not Freemasonry subject, this is trash. I am wondering if today quite a few of Freemason Brothers are such or more similar to the deteriorated society: oh tempora, ho mores!
Please remove that ring! Your not even authorized to use it to glorify your artwort. Your interpretation about its meaning is even worst.
Nicely done Greg. Good followup. I went back and added a link to your story for anyone interested.
Marc, there are jurisdictions now that do permit inviting a petition. Unfortunately, we live in a society now in which many are apparently not familiar enough with the fraternity to “hold a favorable opinion” and solicit membership for themselves. That’s our fault, in part, for hiding our light!
Even assuming that this “artist” was invited to join (personally, I’d assume that he was lying in this regard), I hope that it’s clear to anyone, who might consider that now and going forward, that neither his character nor his regard for the fraternity merit the move.
I too was shocked to see this piece posted, but, on reflection, I’d say that we need to know when things like this are happening. Greg, you treated “Ginger” with considerably more respect in the interview than I believe most of us would say he deserved! There was a time when the good reputation of the Craft was sufficient to protect us against virtually every slanderous and libelous portrayal. Ready and rapid access to ‘information’ (truth…lies…garbage) is so pervasive now that this is no longer the case. This (along with our own ability, on a GL level, to ‘put our foot in it’ pretty badly…and all too frequently) may be the strongest arguments for a national governing body for the Craft.
Thanks William. I’ve tried to take a position to understand how these things are used in the culture, given they usually appear out without context (as in this case).
Would not the skull and bones have sufficed for an emblem of secret society? I believe that the use of the compass and the square was in derision as indeed the whole sculpture is so.
The artist is a jerk wad. Remove the ring.ron.o.miller47167@gmail
I am sorry family if he is not one of the brothers it should not have been done it makes both look bad but he’ll get over it, it should be remove people already talking, Moving Forward.
Marc has it exactly right. To be one you have to ASK ONE. The so called artist has insulted artists, good Masons, and all affiliatd origanisations that donate money and lots of time for the betterment of our society.
Perhaps the best (but not the only) example being the Shriners org. Millions of dollars and hours given to help children.
If you a mason you serve the Jesuits and your master is Adolfo Nicolas.
Unfortunately, the ring is available to anybody even one who is not a Mason at any Masonic supply store and you don’t have to identify yourself as a Mason. to obtain it. The “artist” adds to the misconception of what Freemasonry is all about. We are not a secret society but like any other organization, we have our own “secret” ways of identifying ourselves by signs, tokens, and passwords
Masons you should know profane is awake so the hog wash is not going to work anymore to hide some lodge member’s membership. Someone who isn’t initiated isn’t going to use esoteric Masonic hand signs 24/7 or decorate their home with Masonic pillars, mirrors to represent the law of duality and have protraits of the Greek deity Apollo like Trump. Non Mason’s can read books by William Morgan, Albert Pike, Laurence Dermott, Manly P. Hall, Aliester Crowley, Helena Blavatsky, Alice Foster, León Zeldis, etc… and be just as enlightened (illuminated) as pages, princes and adepts without going through rituals.
freemasonry is Neoplatonism . the esoteric religion of Rome, The cult of Moleck- the child sacrifice god.
They should be exposed for what they are.
And interpreting the famed 666 riddle in revelation as 6 cubed- Plato’s number, may well achieve that .
and reveal Plato as the false prophet of Revelation
More rubbish by those who know nothing about us but think that by MAYBE reading a few books or repeating the lies they have heard elsewhere they can speak with authority.
Why is it that everyone having a negative view of Freemasonry has a not too distant relative who was a ‘high ranking’ Mason. There’s the first clue they are lying.
Yea this guy is just trying to disgrace the Free Masons and Donald Trump what an idiot this isn’t t just a joke. What an embarrassment this isn’t art.
I just created a statue of Greg Stewart……he is standing there naked with a swastika tattooed in his ass. He also has 16 toes and 24 fingers.
So this must mean that Greg Stewart is a Nazi 16 toed 24 fingered reptilian alien.
Now we all know that this is crazy……. right?
Just as crazy as this idea that because some ass hat that made a statue of Trump naked with a masonic ring, makes Trump a mason.
People….get real…..get a life……
Nice shout out, I think?
“But the emperor has no clothes…” Instead of being horrified by the use of the emblem, try to understand the over all meaning of the piece by it’s artist, very direct and to the point! How can so many be fooled by the “clothes” this man attempts to wear and is he truly worthy (hence the ring)? This is a blatant shout and yet still people see what they want to see instead of reality.
two points here….first we never invite any member to be one….it has to be of your own volition; second we are not a secret society…each regular lodge has its own registration to the national registry, in the case of US lodges they are registered to the state bureau of corporations, in Canada we are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. Secret societies are NOT registered at all as the name implies.
You suck dude…The statue doesn’t even look like him. Get a real job like every other aspiring artist who can’t hack it.
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