Gowanus

‘Swamp Trump’ is no longer in the Gowanus Canal. A barge killed him.

Rumors abound as to the effigy's final resting place.

February 19, 2020 Scott Enman

Swamp Trump is no more. The Gowanus Canal’s infamous resident who made international headlines and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel was destroyed after a boat involved in the waterway’s Superfund cleanup hit it.

The floating statue, created by Park Slope artist Phil Gable, depicted President Donald Trump surrounded by faux serpents and seaweed inside a tire with orange gloves and green eyes.

“I was working on some other plans for a long term home, but I think being rammed into a wall by a toxic cleanup barge is a more poetic end,” Gable told the Brooklyn Eagle.

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The collision, which occurred in October, wounded the effigy. By November, it had been dismembered, lying on the pavement on the banks of the canal. R.I.P.

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Gowanus Trump succumbed to the toxic canal…..very sad. #gowanustrump

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By the end of November, a mangled version of the statue had reportedly made its way back into the canal and caught onto a private dock between Carroll and First streets. When Gable went to retrieve the remnants, they had mysteriously disappeared, though one of the snakes was seen detached and swimming out of a combined sewer overflow outfall.

“I don’t know if it found its way out or found its way down, but it has left,” Gable said. “Trump may have sent in a team of Navy Seals to extract it or some other waste of taxpayer money. Whether he’s out at sea, in a secret government compartment or crawling along that toxic sludge on the bottom — all are pretty good guesses at this point.”

Related: The story behind Swamp Trump, the Gowanus Canal’s newest resident


There are rumors as to where the statue may have gone. Gable suggested Satan may have taken it down into hell. Others believe it may have found its final resting place in the infamous black mayonnaise at the bottom of the canal. (Perhaps when the waterway is dredged during the cleanup, we may see it again.)

Still, some say they believe Trump (the real one) had the Secret Service come in the cover of darkness to remove the lookalike and abscond back to the other swamp (read: Washington, D.C.).

Asked what he wants Brooklynites to take away from his viral project, Gable said he hopes people remember it as a funny commentary on Trump’s “swampiness.”

“The craziest thing to me is that I made it as a commentary on the fact that what he calls the swamp, he has made far worse,” he said. “I thought at the time, this is as bad as it gets. Since then, watching the Republicans acquit him and seeing him manipulate the Justice Department, it’s like, oh my god, it was not even close to the worst at the time.”

The floating President Donald Trump. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle

Regardless of where the statue went, its brief stay in Brooklyn’s toxic waterway has left an indelible mark on the neighborhood, and it will forever live on in the memory of residents.

“It’s gone, fake snakes and all. But given the inherent weirdness of the Gowanus, it’s not the last time someone will take their hijinks to the murky waters,” said Brad Vogel, captain of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club.

“The canal is a kind of grand, peculiar canvas for the creative energy in the neighborhood. It’s still untamed — for now. The floating effigy was proof of that,” he said. “It was a fun little episode, though I have to admit it was pretty eerie to encounter that thing after dark in a canoe.”

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.


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3 Comments

  1. The Left are vile mouthed, filled with hate & have a child’s mentality. I am praying for Trump’s re-election as our economy, jobs & prosperity is growing by leaps & bounds. The democrats HATE people working (AOC killed AMAZON); they love people as victims, dependent upon a democrat politician for the very bread on their tables. btw: Bernie is a communist & his supporters are USEFUL IDIOTS. WTHU morons.