Don't get it twisted. Art, like eccentricity, never gets off scot free anymore. There is a price for interrupting the dull roar of meaningless social dialogue with a forthright, loud statement such as Magrath's. But the artist, I feel, should bear the burden. Presumably he wanted to engage in a more direct dialogue. To his detriment, he got it, even if it was not intended by the vandal.
I like it, and even though you consider it vandalism isn't art suppsoed to illicit some kind of response from the public?
Um, what, we want to inflict Barney on them?
Seriously, isn't that against the Geneva Conventions?
I like the pink. It's a better commentary on America's cruelty than the original piece, which apart from being a little too obvious and exploitative for my taste, wouldn't last five minutes in a square in Baghdad.
Also, after wingeing about the unfairness of it all, the artist's blatant self promotion in—I'm planning on re-installing them in NYC, btw—looks a little trite.
Michael Magrath, you are now a successful artist! Doesn't it suck?!?
In a city that too often plays it safe as far as public art displays are concerned, I was glad to see these figures in my work neighborhood.
I'm pissed that someone vandalized a thought provoking piece instead of spending their vandalism time on something truly lame - like every building in Belltown...
I dunno. I kind of think the "chick lit" pink is kind of interesting.
The vandal was clearly trying to battle the nauseating realities of Iraq portrayed in the sculptures with some Pepto Bismol.
I think I'm in along Gomez's line. I was a house painter at a younger age. Our boss picked up "low rent", State-paid turnover jobs when work was slow. Slumming, so to speak. Not much profit, no one along the whole chain of events cared beyond the minimum. What we did was put Kilz primer over everything without any prep. So, primer over grease, over food stuck on the walls, cabinets, over whatever was in the way. Then, voila, a beautiful coat of new paint. Done, and get the fuck out before the ugly came back through.
The moral then -- and perhaps here: Give it a fresh coat of paint, and the sad goes away.
Won't the paint wash away as the moisture melts the salt?
this reminds me of the graffiti artist who colored an entire tank in pink.
I'd say the statues are even more vivid and disturbing now. Leave 'em up.
A true vandal would have defaced them with nasty messages or tagging.
Huh. Lloyd's interpretation works for me. Sucks for the artist to have the sculpture hijacked, but I think there's merit in the interpretation of the paint job as representing the effort to prettify the war, "shock-and-awe" style. In practical terms, though, "just stupid" is much more likely to be an accurate description of what was on the vandal's minds.
Brilliant. Even without his knowing it (I'm assuming the idiot in question is a he, they usually are), the vandal has caused a fascinating philosophical argument online!
He may have fucked up the public's understanding of the piece, but in his defense, he's provoked something even more exciting - a real discussion about how this war is impacting Americans.
Think about it. Here we are, safe and comfortable in our war-free living spaces, forced to interact with this awkward and uncomfortable intrusion into our daily lives, a reminder of - oh the horror - the Iraq War and what's it's doing to real people, when along comes some idiot who wants to express his little wounded American spirit all over their suffering. With pink paint.
This kind of crap is normal in America. But in Iraq, where the county is occupied and their government is unable to protect them from horrifying acts of daily ultraviolence, there is no "normal". People whose lives have been turned upside down by this war would probably love to have the level of safety and freedom that would allow them to put up a piece of controversial public art, despite the potential risk of vandalism. Instead, they have constant terror and rampant violence that forces them to hide in their homes or risk torture and assassination.
This stupid act totally typifies civic life in America. Some good lefty puts out something that actually provokes independent thought, and then some angry anarchist or poverty-stricken drug addict takes a shit on it. That's America, folks. That's what our soldiers are over there murdering civilians to protect. Doesn't it make you feel kind of sad?
You know what's really sad, though? We have a lot of young soldiers over there that have more in common with the pink painter than the sculptor. The kind of kids who didn't get hugged enough by their fathers, who now have an axe to grind against those they see as their enemies. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, the fog of war has turned all Iraqis into mirrors of their disapproving fathers, deserving of the kind of punishment only an M-16 and a hand grenade can provide.
Wouldn't it be great if it was the other way around? If our soldiers carried art supplies instead of firearms, and went around foreign countries putting up public art in common spaces?
I can see it now. Big salmon in the sreets of Baghdad. Or pigs. Or cows. Or whatever creature they would appreciate over there. We'd be like the American Culture Army, spreading thought-provoking artworks throughout the "broader Middle East".
It couldn't be a more disastrous policy than the one we're currently following, could it?
I'm just wondering, how is the vandal's work any less of an artistic statement than Magrath's work? I mean, if we found out that Banksy was the vandal, we would all be cooing over the sheer genius of it all.
Come to think of it, Banksy did very much the same thing to a live elephant.
Actually, what would really make a great artistic statement is if the vandal (or Banksy) actually accosted Magrath himself and spraypainted him the same color. If somebody videotaped that encounter, it would be absolutely "Jackass"-worthy.
I think that bit of performance art would send a powerful message about not just the suffering of the Iraqi people but also the indifference of the American people to (A) the suffering of the Iraqi people and (B) obvious, simplistic artistic statements.
"(I'm assuming the idiot in question is a he, they usually are)"
fyi TA, i've dated plenty of lady idiots in my lifetime.
It's neat that a bunch of you find some artistic merit in the painting of the sculptures. A few names to add to the suspect list, to boot. But I think it's bullshit when someone selfishly vandalizes art -- no matter the motive -- and thereby utterly ruins it. Yes, interesting statement. Great. What's next, draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa? Blow up ancient statues in Afghanistan? I, for one, would like to pour pink paint down the vandal's throat. Now THAT would be art.
Is it paint, or is it a coating that is designed to preserve the images so that they won't melt away? Perhaps the vandals see these installations as too important to have them disintegrate, no matter how poetic disintegration might be. And perhaps the use of pink was to make them more visible?
The pink paint is unfortunate. But even more unfortunate was the installation of the fuck-ass corporate nutcracker (several are speckling the downtown neighborhood) sculpture. Some genius decided to place it, in its bullshit corporate glory, some 15 feet from the salt sculpture of the blindfolded, handless, screaming, crouching boy.
I think it's a mistake to equate "vandal" with "stupid" as many in this thread are apparently dull enough to do.
Not too big of a mistake mind you, still I'd venture that this vandal is out for more than just fame. There's commentary here. It's just not very well articulated.
OK, I take it back. Stupid vandal.
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