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Jerry Vile with his addition to “Monument to Joe Louis” (photo by Deadline Detroit, and used with permission)

An artist who asked to be identified as Jerry Vile obviously has a sense of humor, so his guerrilla addition to Detroit’s “Monument to Joe Louis” (aka The Fist) is his tongue-in-cheek way of preparing the citizens of his beloved city to brace themselves for the … er … punch of bankruptcy.

The artists told Bill McGraw of Deadline Detroit (DD): “Things are going to hurt … We’re just trying to grease the wheels of justice. Now, instead of selling something from the [Detroit Institute of Arts] DIA, this is being given to the city of Detroit. They can sell this.”

One DD commenter, replying to another commenter who called the work disgusting, explained: “LOL. I’m sorry you’re insulted by this. The city of Detroit has been taking it up the ass by crooked politicians for years … this ONLY makes sense.

The work was removed today, though the city told DD that it was removed “as abandoned property” only “after consulting with Detroit Institute of Arts officials.”

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

4 replies on “Guerrilla Artist Warns Detroiters to Brace Themselves”

  1. His name is Jerry Vile, not Joe Vile. He runs the Dirty Show, an erotic art traveling show.

  2. The artist of “Monument to Joe Louis” was Robert Graham. He also did the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Duke Ellington @ 110th in NYC bronzes. Funny how one artist sees no issues in defacing / defaming another’s work to call attention to themselves and their voice. This is a clever and graphic presentation but like the splattered Lincoln Memorial, the graffiti on Picasso, Rothko etc. it reads as a prank, in this case a political cartoon. It is not “L.H.O.O.Q”

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