Giant Trump chicken balloon designed by Seattle artist

Anyone near the White House or on social media Wednesday morning couldn't miss it: a giant inflatable chicken with strong similarities to President Trump. It turns out, the artist behind the design lives here in Seattle.

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A Seattle artist is the man behind a giant, inflatable chicken with a hairdo reminiscent of President Donald Trump. The chicken was displayed a few yards from The White House on Wednesday.

The chicken balloon was designed by Seattle artist Casey Latiolais, 31, and produced in China. It was placed on the Ellipse, just south of the White House and near the Washington Monument.

Latiolais describes himself on his Twitter profile as "Birther of the Trump Chicken."

Latiolais said he came up with the 3-D design last fall. The company commissioned a new project for Year of the Rooster.

"They wouldn't outwardly say, 'Yes, we want it to look like Trump,' but I was starting to get some clues with that. So I didn't some sketches. They circled which one they wanted," Latiolais said.

The motion design artist drew different sketches asking for his client's guidance along the way. When he finished the 3-D design and sold it to them, it was months before he saw what they did with it: a 30-foot sculpture outside a new mall near Beijing. 

"I was like that was not what I expected they would do with it," he said laughing. "I was expecting a six-foot some that people could take pictures with. And then all of a sudden it's giant."

A giant idea that grew wings and took off.

Soon another Chinese company started making inflatables in different sizes, which appeared at various Trump tax return demonstrations across the country in March.

"The whole thing was he's chicken for not releasing his tax returns," said Latiolais.

Then this week, the bird with bold gold hair and red wattle sat outside the White House. The balloon owner and documentary filmmaker Taran Singh Brar said he wanted to make a statement about the president being a "weak and ineffective leader."

"He's too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin and playing chicken with North Korea," Brar said.

Brar said he secured the permits for the balloon from the National Park Service and the Secret Service.

"It's great that this stupid thing I made a while ago has taken on so many things to so many different people and that's what art is," he said. "It's whatever you want to make of it, I guess."

All in the eye of the beholder. Even some Trump supporters, like Latiolais' parents like the design.

"When the inflatables came out, my mom said 'I want one for my lawn,'" he said. "If you want to make it a positive thing about it that's totally fine."

"I would much rather have a different president than make any money off this, I'll say that," Latiolais said. 

USA TODAY's Jessica Estepa contributed to this report.

© 2017 KING-TV


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