1493596941182 - Kiwi art installation of Donald Trump seeks to raise funds for asylum seekers
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Kiwi art installation of Donald Trump seeks to raise funds for asylum seekers

A golden sculpture depicting US President Donald Trump projecting from a cross up for auction has hit $520 before the live bidding has even started.

Ross Forbes’ Star of Donald is on sale as part of Auckland charity Frame Works’ 2017 art auction which is looking to raise money for the Asylum Seekers Support Trust.

It shows the US Commander in Chief’s head superimposed on a cross – all in fake gold.

It’s made of 3-D printed plastic, wood, and aluminium, with the pre-auction bid currently sitting at $520 ahead of a live auction on Tuesday night.

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Forbes said the piece did not have an obscure meaning and was a response to the political context of the current refugee crisis. 

“I just wanted to evoke a glittering repugnance,” Forbes said.

On the auction’s website, the description reads – “various political figures worldwide are promoting a form of populism which casts refugees as criminals, or worse. At the same time we have a celebrity culture which glorifies the superficial, the cosmetic, the specious.”

Forbes said he hoped the auction price would continue to go up.

Alix Bachmann, curator of the exhibition, said considering the auction’s purpose, the artwork was a wonderful piece of irony.

“Often in art you use the thing you are commenting against,” Bachmann said.

“That’s what this is about – it’s a commentary against Trump’s immigration policies. But art is in the eye of the beholder – if you wanted to see it as a tribute you could.”

The Frame Works auction features close to 100 artists with 88 works up for sale.

They were all on display in downtown Auckland for a week as part of an art trail but now have a temporary home on Quay Street before they are sold.

Pre-auction bids are available with 24 pieces going up for live auction on Tuesday night – including Star of Donald – while the online auction for the remainder closes on Wednesday at 7.45pm.

Bachmann said artists had jumped behind the cause as they looked to raise $100,000 for the trust.

“In this world we have the biggest humanitarian crisis that’s ever existed, and we just need to show some humanity,” Bachmann said.

“I didn’t have any problem finding the artists, they all jumped at the opportunity.”

Frame Works 2017 sent a tweet to Donald Trump’s twitter account saying – “Thank you @realDonaldTrump for using your head to support asylum seekers in New Zealand!”

Other artworks can be viewed and bought here.