Wednesday, December 10, 2014

“Why the City would allow this to happen to a work of art is beyond comprehension …”

The Art Newspaper had a story last week on the mistreatment of my client Brian Tolle (best known in New York for his Irish Hunger Memorial downtown) by the Miami Beach public art authorities.  Long story short, first they were unable to maintain the work, letting it be used as an outdoor toilet (see photo here), and then they decided the best way to deal with the problem was to just remove the work and stick it in storage, where it remains today.

The Art Market Monitor sums it up:  Miami Removes $400k Work Without Consulting Artist.

And Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento has lots more here, including the following excellent series of questions:

“Did the City not seek out recommendations for the care and maintenance of Tolle’s art work? Did City officials really think that removing (and possibly damaging or destroying) Tolle’s art work without Tolle’s consent would be cheaper than cleaning and maintaining the art work? In essence what we’re asking is, did the City just think that it could do as it pleased with a legally protected work of art, and with complete disregard to the artist’s wishes?”

And, in the comments to his post:  “Hopefully the City of Miami will find a … way to not only respect Brian Tolle’s work, but to reinstall it the way that the taxpayers have paid for it.”

Let’s hope.