STATEN ISLAND — A nearly 15-foot high art installation of President Donald Trump now sits on the lawn at the corner of Westwood and Harris Avenues.
It’s a picture of the President, arms crossed, standing over a 2020 sign. The display is created from foam board and painted.
It’s the brainchild of local artist Scott LoBaido - best known for his painted American flags and for being a self-avowed huge Trump supporter. He says it’s not too early to look ahead at 2020.
“All you see is big Trump sculptures, negative ugly stuff the big baby balloon in London,” said LoBaido. “I’m an artist so this is my turn to show my side. I’m representing people who want something like this.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump won Staten Island, carrying 57 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 40 percent.
A steady stream of curious onlookers either walked over or drove over on Wednesday night. Many wanted to snap a picture.
“Come by, take pictures, yell at me, scream all you want, use that First Amendment, but don’t destroy my creativity and don’t destroy this man’s property,” said LoBaido.
LoBaido says when word got out he was looking for a space to put up the display, he got plenty of offers but settled on the front lawn of a home belonging to a friend and fellow Trump supporter.
"It’s been very positive so far," the homeowner, who declined to be identified, said.
Although most who live here seem to be OK with it we found one neighbor - a veteran - who loves the art but not necessarily the President’s politics. He was critical of Mr. Trump not having served in the military.
“If he was a patriot he could’ve served, his policies can be debated,” said Jack Bender.
Bender does respect his neighbor’s right to the art.
“They can put up what they want," he said. "It’s their country."
You may remember LoBaido created a giant “T” during the 2016 election year. That T was lit on fire. His advice to potential vandals with his latest creation - don’t even try it. A gate and security cameras surround it.
LoBaido said he knows there are naysayers but that’s OK with him.
“People who don’t like Trump are still patriots. My girlfriend, my mother, my best friend don’t like Trump, but we still get along.”
LoBaido says he’ll keep this up for as long as it’s in good condition. If it gets weathered, he says he’ll considered creating something new.