A haunting presence looms over the Slovenian town of Sevnica: A wooden statue with a face similar to an unhappy Picasso woman has been attached to an awkward, toothpaste-blue body. It has apparently been constructed to represent Melania Trump.
An American artist named Brad Downey commissioned an “amateur chainsaw sculptor” by the name of Ales “Maxi” Zupevc to carve this monument, according to Time. For a few days now, it has stood in Melania’s hometown of Sevnica, which has become a tourist attraction for Melania supporters in recent years.
There’s no easy or particularly kind way to say this, but the statue has a palpably dark energy. Melania is stuck in a permanent wave, and appears to be in what looks like some sort of physical pain. Her dress has an uncomfortable look to it, similar to a straitjacket. Worse is the nearly smooth expanse that spreads across the lower half of her face, marred only by the faintest ghost of a rictus grin. The statue knows more than it lets on — those dead eyes have seen terrible things.
We wonder about the statue, as Melania herself once wondered about a beluga whale: What is she thinking?
Perhaps about the cruelty of existence, the contradictory nature of being. She was born against all odds, 49 years after the real Melania. She resides in the beautiful Slovenian countryside and is fawned over by fans, yet ridiculed in the international press. She’s living the dream, and yet, she is also trapped in a nightmare.
Like Frankenstein’s monster, her loneliness is apparent. There is no carved version of Donald Trump for her to love and loathe, and she is doomed to wear the same outfit every single day. What is she thinking? Isn’t it obvious? She is suffering. She is plotting her revenge on her creator, or maybe on us all.
Though Downey masterminded this piece, he admitted to AFP that he “can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance.” In a photo posted on his Instagram, a cute local family poses with the statue. Their joy is lovely, but the statue’s presence feels sinister surrounded by so much happiness. She seems terrified of us, and of herself.