Arts What to Give the Iraqi This Christmas Who Already Has Every Kind of Abuse?
posted by December 4 at 16:49 PMon
The answer to that question is: a coat of pinkish-purple paint covering his entire body, so he looks like a cross between Barney the Dinosaur and My Little Pony.
Yes, that is the treatment of choice by some anonymous vandals who last night painted Michael Magrath’s salt sculptures of Iraqi men and boys a vomitous shade of pinkish purple. The sculptures have been standing outside in Occidental Square since September.
Magrath, who has already had to defend his sculptures from the idiots at various news outlets who called them memorials to the American victims of September 11, now probably will have to take them down before they have a chance to fully melt. They were made with a salt-based material that was intended to melt, poignantly, to nothing. In the first few months, appendages had already begun to drop off, and the effect was powerful and creepy.
This from Magrath:
I just wanted to put out that this act of vandalism is not part of the intent of the artist, who finds the alteration incomprehensible. It’s not like it suggests blood or anything. That would at least have been a commentary. It’s a kind of pink or plum color. Like Christo’s island. It’s just stupid-looking. Unfortunately the outcome is that the sculptures will likely now be removed prematurely, as they cannot be cleaned, and the effect of the paint is to alter the work beyond recognition. Other than that, the city has been so amazingly kind to these figures. I am truly astounded at the outpouring of dismay. I am working now on recasting these figures and installing them in NYC soon, btw.
I agree with the “just stupid-looking” line of thinking. The only redeemable reason for this would be if it’s some kind of absurdist anti-statement-statement, and even then, the fact that it shuts down the actual function of the piece is contemptible. I’m having a bad day already, so I’m falling on the side of screw you, vandal, whoever you are and whatever you meant or didn’t mean. I for one wanted to see these things melting.
Here’s the sad spectacle now: