Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Crimes of the Art is a weekly survey of artless criminals’ cultural misdeeds. Crimes are rated on a highly subjective scale from one “Scream” emoji — the equivalent of a vandal tagging the exterior of a local history museum in a remote part of the US — to five “Scream” emojis — the equivalent of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.
Wiener Mural Has Hoosier Hot and Bothered
The Spot Tavern in Lafayette, Indiana, has come under fire from one of its neighbors over a mural by the Droops on its exterior wall featuring a nude woman tied to a tree and a hot dog bun with a penis instead of a wiener.
Verdict: The most fantastic thing about this otherwise by-the-books small-town art story is this detail, from WISHTV’s report: “Nearby neighbor Ila Solomon started a petition online intended for Mayor Tony Roswarski. You may remember Ila Solomon for pleading guilty to trying to feed her husband to the birds.” Solomon’s strange past, which involves living with her husband’s corpse and collecting his benefits for as long as nine months after he’d died, is chronicled here.
Dishonest Abe Lovers Lift Lincoln Likeness
A large marble bust of Abraham Lincoln by the Italian sculptor Ivo Zini was stolen from the Gettysburg Hall of Presidents Museum.
Verdict: Perhaps the thieves felt they were merely emancipating the great emancipator.
Sandy Mural Capped
A public art project that artist Lisa Be made in Long Beach, Long Island, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was destroyed by a construction crew that had been instructed to preserve it. The mural, “CAPS for KIDS,” was a landscape made up of 50,000 colorful bottle caps that children throughout the city had collected.
Verdict: The construction crew must wish they’d kept a lid on this story.
Pencil Sculpture Rubbed Out
A 12-foot-tall sculpture of a pencil said to be worth $9,000 was stolen from the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Verdict: Perhaps the thieves are trying to send a message that Purdue should transition to a paperless campus.
Military Museum Robbed of WWII Gun on Veterans Day
Thieves struck the New Mexico Museum of Military History in the early-morning hours of Veterans Day, making off with a still-functioning World War II machine gun valued at $4,000.
Tagger Takes Down Towering Toys
Two murals of giant toys by the artist Dotmasters, intended to promote street art in the South London town of Croydon, were tagged by a graffiti artist who goes by “TIC” and is a member of the local Kaos Crew.
Verdict: Another chapter in the never-ending rivalry between graffiti and street art.
Scrooges Strike Christmas Art Fair
Karen Jewell, a vendor at this year’s Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, North Carolina, lost hand-carved wooden sculptures worth $30,000 when thieves broke the lock on her hitch and made off with her trailer and all its contents.
Verdict: Trailer-loads of coal for those callous Christmas art thieves.
Hindus Bring Down Bovine Hindenburg
A polystyrene sculpture of a cow that hung from a helium balloon at the annual Jaipur Art Summit was taken down by Hindu activists and then handed over to police, who raided the summit and detained two artists for several hours.
In a world delighted and entertained by displays of material excess, Diane Simpson shows that there is another possibility.
The animal carcass sculptures are gruesome yet their materials — the artist’s own discarded clothing — lend them some gentleness.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Mr. Bernatowicz, in your introductory text you talk about the need for honesty, the disease of hypocrisy, overreaching governments. You do not fulfill a single one of your own ideals.
The biggest problem with turning Dune into a film is that the book appears increasingly derivative of generic sci-fi tropes.
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
Ed Roberson’s motorcycle ride from Pittsburgh to the Pacific is a quest-romance, an exploration of American culture and American mythology.
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
The legendary performer amassed a collection of about 10,000 rare books, posters, and artwork about all things esoteric.
The proceeds will benefit the BDC’s community-centered initiatives and exhibitions.