TECATE, CA (KFMB/CNN/Gray News) – A California-based artist wants to make America “grate” again.
Cosimo Cavallaro is using an unconventional medium for his latest work.
"I make things out of cheese. That's what I do," he said.
He’s building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate, CA, made entirely of cotija cheese. He’s calling the project “Make America Grate Again.”
Cavallaro has set up a GoFundMe to raise $300,000 so he can build the quarter-mile-long border wall.
Once completed, it’s expected to be 6 feet high and 3 feet wide.
Cavallaro came up with the idea to build a wall of cheese years ago, but it was always on the backburner.
"All of a sudden, Trump gets elected, and he just keeps talking about the wall, the wall, the wall," he said.
After months of scouting locations, Cavallaro decided on Tecate. He leased the property where he’s building his wall, alongside an existing border fence, for a year.
Cavallaro and an assistant then started laying the foundation of the wall, which he hopes will eventually stretch nearly a quarter mile.
"That's a physical goal,” he said. “My mental goal, my spiritual goal, is that it gets into the hearts of people."
He ordered 200 bricks of cheese, each weighing 50 pounds, and he plans to add to the wall as donations come in.
Cavallaro was "inspired to start the Cheese Wall because of the political environment we are living in today,” according to his GoFundMe page.
“If you believe the federal wall is a waste of our country’s resources, support this art wall to make a point,” the page says.
Cavallaro is using cheese because he said anyone can connect with it – and the unusual building material will carry a message.
“There’s a humor in this. The idea is: This is a wall of cheese, it’s perishable,” Cavallaro said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “People will say, ‘This is a waste.’”
“You can see the waste in this [cheese] wall, but you can’t see the waste in a $10 billion wall?” Cavallero said.
This isn’t the first time Cavallaro has made art out of food. He gained notoriety years ago with a sculpture of Jesus he crafted out of chocolate.