A Los Angeles artist has found a cheesy way to make a grate point about a wedge issue in American politics.
Cosimo Cavallaro's past projects include a 6-foot-tall milk-chocolate sculpture of Jesus and a hotel room covered in 1,000 pounds of melted mozzarella cheese. His latest effort: A 6-foot-high, 3-foot-wide wall of expired cheese in close proximity to America's southern border. The cheese wall, which Cavallaro says he wants to extend 1,000 feet at a cost of $300,000, is meant to mock President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.–Mexico border.
"To spend all this money to keep dividing the countries, I think is a waste," he tells the Los Angeles Times. "You see the waste in my wall, but you can't see the waste in [Trump's] $10 billion wall, which in time will be removed?"
Cavallaro started building on Monday and has posted videos to Facebook documenting his progress.
According to the project's website, Cavallaro started with enough funds for a 25-foot long wall made of 200 blocks of spoiled cotija cheese. Each block costs about $100, The Sacramento Bee reports, so he's crowdfunding the rest. A GoFundMe page has raised about $1,435 of his $300,000 goal. He's also selling cheese-related apparel, including a "Make America Grate Again" t-shirt. (The "Grate" is actually just an image of a cheese grater.)
"The simplicity of the wall is that it shows and exposes the waste," he adds in a promotional video. "You take a piece of cheese, and after a certain date you have to throw it. I don't know why. Maybe that's part of the whole system of Congress. You must waste cheese to keep making cheese here."
While that metaphor may be a bit strained, Cavallaro is making a valid point about waste and the wall. Trump is trying to use about $8 billion of money from different sources to build the project. In reality, it will cost much more. In fact, erecting the wall is likely to cost as much as $28 billion, followed by $48.3 billion in maintenance expenses over the first decade. All this for a structure that will be ineffective at blocking both illegal immigration and illegal drugs. And don't even get me started on all the private property that'll be seized in the process. (There are many other reasons why building a border wall would be a bad idea, which you can read about here.)
The wall has attracted several other trolly responses. Last year there was the "Ladders to Get Over Trump's Wall" campaign, and in 2017 the company behind Cards Against Humanity announced it had bought a plot of land on the U.S.–Mexico border in order to make it "as time-consuming and expensive as possible" for Trump to build his wall. (Though since Trump doesn't care all that much for private property rights, it was likely for naught.)
Cavallaro's cheese wall won't stop Trump from building anything, so it's a purely symbolic form of protest. But it is a very well-Krafted troll.