To the casual observer, these art pieces seem like everyday cereal boxes, but they’re anything but and are selling like hotcakes.
The front of the box, which contains no actual cereal, portrays a humorous caricature of President-Elect Donald Trump. Martin Zara, a young artist and musical producer originally from Colombia, created the boxes as a form of satire. Zara said his cereal boxes are really pop art, a style which first arose in the 1950s as a way to elevate everyday objects and imbue them with a strong sense of irony and style.
“It’s a political and social manifestation. It’s a product called “Cap’n Trump: Make Breakfast Great Again,” said Zara, referencing Trump’s ubiquitous slogan, “Make America Great Again,” emblazoned on caps and lawn signs across America.
The boxes are selling for $10 apiece and Zara said he plans on donating a portion of proceeds. “My idea is to sponsor breakfasts for the homeless in the streets of New York with part of the sales,” said Zara, adding that in this way these empty cereal boxes will actually serve as nourishment.
The backside of the boxes are covered with memorable and controversial Trump quotes from the campaign; phrases such as “I’m really rich” and “it's freezing and snowing in New York--we need global warming!,” which caused quite the stir during the campaign.
Despite the fact “Cap’n Trump” mocks the president elect, it’s both “followers of Trump and those who don’t agree with him,” who are just as attracted to these pieces of art. The much-talked-about quotes are interpreted in a different fashion depending on the buyers’ personal opinions of the president-elect.
Zara, whose birth name is Juan Francisco Zárate Martínez, was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1994. He not only creates visual art, but is also a composer and musical producer.
His career began in 2012 in reggaeton, a modern Caribbean genre infused with hip-hop and Afro-Latino rhythms, which is all the rage in the professional music scene in his hometown of Medellín.
In time, Zara began to also incorporate electronic and dance music to his tracks. Zara arrived in New York in 2015 and his burgeoning musical career is now beginning to gain a following in both Colombia and the United States.
When asked what his message would be to President-Elect Donald Trump if he saw one of these cereal boxes, Zara said, “Think of Latinos. I would like to speak to him from the heart to please care for the integrity of this country based on the principle of immigration; please protect this community.”
Edgar Zúñiga Jr. is a producer based in Noticias Telemundo's New York bureau for the network's national-evening newscast, "Noticiero Telemundo." Telemundo is a division of NBCUniversal.