A billboard depicting President Donald Trump as an otherworldly invader, with teeth exposed and eyes bulging through blue and red muscle and tendon, has been hoisted above the streets of Mexico City by a Chicago artist.
The ‘80s cult classic film “They Live,” in which skull-faced aliens are only visible to the protagonist when he wears special sunglasses, is the inspiration behind Mitch O’Connell’s project. In a phone interview, he called it "an appropriate commentary on Trump."
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The billboard appeared above a road known as the Periferico sometime last week.
O’Connell started a GoFundMe page in April to raise cash for the display.
“With a Trump presidency, things just keep getting stranger (and the bar was set pretty high for strange to begin with), and the world of ’They Live’ becomes even more prophetic,” the page reads. “Of course, this isn’t all Trumps fault. No matter what your point of view, most folks feel Washington is a big mess of nonfunctioning nonsense, but since Trump has the best hair, he also wins getting the caricature on the billboard.”
After consulting with advertising companies, O’Connell set a goal of $1,930 for a two-month rental to begin with. As of July 28, the GoFundMe had raised $3,260.
On his website, he explains courting multiple advertisers to host the sign, but says all of them backed out or “got cold feet” when they saw the artwork.
“I contacted over 30 billboard companies,” O'Connell tells NBC 5. “Most of them wouldn’t get back to me and the ones that did just said ‘no.’”
After taking his search for a host international, he said "it was a beautiful ending" that Mexico was where the billboard was raised because of Trump's contentious history with the country.
On the campaign trail, Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals” and said Mexico sends its undesirable citizens or “bad hombres” across the border.
“They are not our friend, believe me,” Trump said of Mexico in his announcement speech.
He also said that Mexico would pay for the building of a border wall.
“I am not going to pay for that f---ing wall,” former Mexican President Vicente Fox said in February.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
O’Connell said the “They Live” Trump design originally started as a poster for a 24-hour horror movie marathon in Chicago called “The Massacre” in 2015. He’s also done versions of the poster depicting Hillary Clinton.
Asked what the president might think about the billboard, O'Connell jokes his taxes might be audited for the next 50 years.
“His plate is so crazy full I might not even make an impression on him," he said. "But ... I would probably have whatever he tweets about me on my tombstone.”