Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now why, exactly, did the ICA invite a vandal to Massachusetts?

I admit I sometimes can't quite believe it. Did the ICA (tagged above) really just invite a vandal with outstanding warrants into the Commonwealth, and then look the other way while he further defaced other people's property? And did the local press really applaud? And did it also come out that not only was he a vandal, but he was also stealing other people's art? It's all like some Tom Wolfe satire from 1970. And to those who are still harumphing over the fact that Shepard Fairey was finally arrested, ponder that if he is a criminal (and he doesn't seem to deny it) then the curators and staff at the ICA are at best his indirect accomplices. They might at the very least offer to pay for any damages caused by his actions, and one wonders if the museum itself is open to any possible lawsuits over this whole affair. Because why, exactly, did the ICA invite Shepard Fairey to Massachusetts? Please, no b.s. about rebellion and art; we're grown-ups on this blog. They did it for buzz, pure and simple. Did they actually want him to vandalize the state, albeit in some small, not-too-threatening way? Probably. Or was the idea that this time, Shepard would be a good boy for the time being? Either way, surely this counts as the most bizarre violation of the public trust by a nonprofit arts organization since the Wang Center brouhaha (needless to say, nonprofit religious organizations are in another class entirely!). What makes it all the more incredible is that it was done completely out in the open; it was promoted by major news outlets, and the Mayor shook the perp's hand! Sheesh, where is Tom Wolfe when we need him?

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