This Artist Wants to Build a Wall Along the U.S.-Mexico Border Made Out of Cheese, and Welcome to 2019
President Donald Trump's hopes for a border wall with Mexico may have curdled, but they have not been totally evaporated just yet. That is if one artist has anything to say about it.
"Professional provocateur" Cosimo Cavallaro, who specializes in creating art from food, plans on building a seven-foot-high, quarter-mile-long wall of spoiled cheese a mere 45 feet from the US-Mexico dividing line. Cavallaro has already placed 200 bricks of rotten Cotija, a hard Mexican cheese, and plans on using up to 8,800 more to realize his vision.
Cavallaro will live stream the construction process, which he calls "the biggest project of his life," on Facebook beginning at 7 p.m. EST Monday and hopes to have much if it completed by Thursday.
“A cheese wall is something I’ve wanted to do for 20 years,” Cavallaro told The Huffington Post. “When you come to a barrier or a boundary, you want to expand beyond it.”
Cavallaro credited Trump's demand for a border wall as his inspiration.
“Trump’s demand gave me a context for this, the emotional impact,” Cavallaro said.
Watch Cavallaro erect a slice of his cheese wall:
Cavallaro also acknowledged the risks his wall faces, such as structural collapse or damage from animals - though he remains undeterred in his mission.
“That’s what humans do,” he explained. “We consume, and then we waste. I just hope the cheese wall feeds you in another way.”
Cavallaro says that his experience as an immigrant motivates him to do things differently.
“As an immigrant child, we were always looked upon us as outsiders. I understand the outsider point of view very very well. I’ve never fit in, in fact, what I’ve learned is that if you want to fit in, you must stand out to fit in," Cavallaro writes on his website.
“I don’t like walls. So this is a wall that I can handle, this is a wall I can live with because this wall is perishable, it will not last. The cheese is spoiled. It just means that for the regulations it’s not to be consumed.”
Cavallaro made a name for himself in the 1990s when he covered a New York City hotel room in melted cheese - a stunt that became a media sensation. Since then, he has been using his art, largely including food, to make political statements, such as his infamous Chocolate Jesus.
Check out the promo for the cheese wall below:
Despite his obsession with a border wall, Trump himself has waffled on what materials should be used to build a barrier.
Could be concrete, could be slats:
Dec. 2, 2015: At a rally in Virginia, a young boy asked him, "What are the walls going to be made out of?" Trump replied, "I'll tell you what it's going to be made of. It's going to be made of hardened concrete, and it's going to be made out of rebar and steel. And — you know, it's so easy, that's what I do."
Jan. 18, 2016: "They have no idea how to do it. Whereas with me it's easy — that's like easy. When you build buildings like I build buildings, believe me, walls are easy. No windows, no nothing — precast concrete going very high."
Aug. 11, 2016: "The politicians would come up to me, and they'd say, 'You know, Donald, you can't build the wall.' I said, 'You have to be kidding. You have to be kidding. Concrete plank, you have to be kidding. Precast, precast, right? Boom. Bing. Done. Keep going.'"
@nprpolitics Thanks for tracing the craziness of it all for us. Hard to keep track of all his messes and brags and outright lies.— Wendy Caduff (@Wendy Caduff)1547447349.0
@nprpolitics Yet, Always a 'FENCING OPERATION!'— RETTIWTGMM (@RETTIWTGMM)1547213736.0
@nprpolitics #TrumpMnemonicWall— Jane Q. Public (@Jane Q. Public)1547212287.0
In December, the plan was still mostly nebulous. Is it a wall? Slats? A see-through barrier? Some sort of pitted fruit?
The Democrats, are saying loud and clear that they do not want to build a Concrete Wall - but we are not building a… https://t.co/PxFF7iNrH3— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1545182010.0
....It will be beautiful and, at the same time, give our Country the security that our citizens deserve. It will go… https://t.co/nUJFJdHp5l— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1545182010.0
Heck, he has even admitted that it does not have to be called a "wall" at all.
In January, Trump joked that the wall - or barrier or fence or whathaveyou- could be called "peaches."
"This is where I ask the Democrats to come back to Washington and to vote for money for the wall, the barrier, whatever you want to call it, it's okay with me. They can name it whatever they can -- name it Peaches."
President Trump: "This is where I ask the Democrats to come back to Washington and to vote for money for the wall,… https://t.co/XywBn5NUGN— The Hill (@The Hill)1547326860.0
And just like that, a meme was born.
@thehill Impeaches is more like it 🍑— barbaradanger (@barbaradanger)1547327090.0
@thehill And there's his prison nickname... Peaches.— Belinda Shreeve 🧣🍪🍷✂️📚 (@Belinda Shreeve 🧣🍪🍷✂️📚)1547327007.0
@thehill Trump literacy: it's spelled, i-m-p-e-a-c-h-e-s. The 'i' and 'm' are silent.— Richard Gallegos ™ #RETURNTHECHILDREN (@Richard Gallegos ™ #RETURNTHECHILDREN)1547327075.0
@thehill This is a man who thinks he’s a great negotiator. Let’s call him Peaches.— DurhamBullPen (@DurhamBullPen)1547327171.0
Trump declared a national emergency to secure funding for his wall/fence/barrier/peaches in February but has spent much of his free time playing golf.