Trumpkin Kickstarter campaign launches - Metro US

Trumpkin Kickstarter campaign launches

We’re not due for a Halloween scare for another four months but one man has come up with a clever way to get people in the mood for smashing pumpkins.

Max Prum has created Trumpkins, which, for those of you who don’t know, are pumpkins shaped like Donald Trump’s face. The U.S.-based film editor is offering people the chance — via Kickstarter—to grow their own (using a specially designed plastic mold in the shape of The Donald’s face) or buy a ready-made Trumpkin, before beating it to an orange, fleshy pulp on October 31. As you’ve probably already guessed, he’s no fan of the Republican presidential candidate. And being a filmmaker, he’s making a mockumentary of the Trumpkin process from creation to destruction.

How did you come up with the idea to create Trumpkins?

We had heard about square watermelons and other shaped vegetables and fruits being grown in Japan and China and were curious about the process. At the same time, the presidential primaries were underway and Trump was all over the news. If you are thinking about pumpkins and Trump is everywhere, it is only a matter of time until you get to Trumpkins. It turned out we were not the first people to think of it: several people painted or carved “Trumpkins” last autumn. But we are the first who tried to mold them using the Asian technique and as far as I am aware, the first to attempt a caricature of a real person in the form of molded produce.

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What are you trying to achieve?

It’s kind of a simultaneous thing: a business, a surreal and humorous political protest, and a large scale art piece.

Is there a political motivation behind Trumpkins?

We are all definitively anti-Trump and we made this with the intention of mocking him. If people who feel differently about him want to use Trumpkins for their own purposes, we won’t try to prevent that. But from our perspective, the joke is definitely on the mogul. He is an arrogant bully who preys on people’s fears and exploits ignorance. By making him into a Trumpkin with which people can do whatever they want, we hope we can fight back in a small way.

Why is he screaming in the pumpkin portrait?

Trump screams a lot; he’s a very loud person and he makes outrageous statements. We wanted to capture something of his persona. We tried out a model with his pursed “duck lips” expression that he makes a lot but it didn’t really have the same impact and we wanted people to be able to carve out the open mouth like a jack-o’-lantern. We also wanted to make something a little scary – it is for Halloween after all.

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What are people supposed to do with Trumpkins?

It’s completely up to them. However, we are hoping that after getting a laugh and maybe scaring the neighborhood kids on Halloween, people will think of creative ways to destroy the Trumpkins and send us footage of how they did it. Our goal is to create a montage of their destruction.

Is it hard to create them?

There are definitely challenges. You have to design a mold that will shape the pumpkin the way you want it but also not damage it when it’s taken off. You also have to select the right variety of pumpkins to use so that it fills the mold at the right stage of its development. Lastly you have to harvest at the right time. We have taken into account that not all our Trumpkins will come out perfectly but we are shooting for a success rate of 60 percent and we believe that is attainable.

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How long is the Trumpkin process?

Once you have the molds made, it takes the same time that it does to grow a normal pumpkin, which is 90 to 115 days from planting to harvest. The molds are placed on the pumpkins for a little over a month.

What’s next?

If our Kickstarter is unsuccessful and we can’t make a full production of the molds, we will try to grow a few Trumpkins ourselves. If we can raise the money to fund the full mold production then we will immediately start farming Trumpkins. We have been documenting the process, so we are also planning to produce a short documentary film about it.

—Dmitry Belyaev

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