Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Artist Destroys Another Artist's $1 Million Vase Because Local Museum Doesn't Show Local Art

In what has to be the stupidest, most misguided protest I've seen in a long time, a Miami artist strolled into a museum, picked up a valuable vase by a Chinese artist that was on display there, and smashed it to pieces on the floor.
A Miami artist destoyed one of these vases
by a Chinese artist because he wanted more
local art shown in Miami musuems.  

The destroyed work might have been worth as much as $1 million.

According to the Miami New Times, Artist Maximo Caminero said he smashed the vase as a protest because local museums seemed to never display works by local artists.  

Like himself, apparently.

"I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here....They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It's the same political situation over and over again. I've been here for 30 years and it's always the same," Caminero told the New Times.

Well, what a huff!  The local museum doesn't show local artists so I'll just destroy works of art by people from overseas. A little self-centered, are we?

Maybe if Caminero destroys enough works from overseas artists they'll have no choice but to show his own stuff, right?

Or not.

The work he destroyed was by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Caminero said he had no idea it was worth that much. Judging from the photos of the vases, I would have had no idea they were worth that much, either.

Geez, they're nice, but..

Anyway, here's what Caminero had to say:

"But honestly, I had no idea the vase had any value. I admire Ai Weiwei greatly and have always supported his actions while he was suffering indignities from the Chinese government," Camiero said.

Caminero faces a charge of felony criminal mischief for his act of protest, or vandalism or whatever you want to call it.

While most people, including Ai Weiwei, think Carminero was a dufus for destroying the work, some are on his side.

According to the Miami New Times:

"I think it's the most courageous act ever undertaen by a Miami artist," says Sergio Garcia, a 54-year-old Cuban-born artist. "I commend Maximo Caminero totally for his actions and think he has helped squarely focus attention from the international community on the plight of local artists."

Who knew artists were so strident?  I don't pretend to know whether local artists in Miami get the short shrift as far as museum showings go, but are we going to have some sort of artists riot?

Will international artists and those from the local area start smashing each others' work in a war of attrition? Which ever side has the most artwork left after the riots gets to display them in what's left of the museums?

On the bright side, maybe we can turn the dispute among artists into some sort of performance art. Museums can sell tickets, and the proceeds can go toward buying more art.

Which would probably be promptly destroyed by more protesting artists

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