Monday, November 16, 2009

Artist's Attempt To Spruce Up Sotheby's Auction House Lands Him in Jail

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Sam Bassett
Amid all of last week's art auction madness, one of the few living artists to present his work at Sothedby's left in a squad car. Sam Bassett, who specializes in what could most readily be called public sculpture (colorful tape forms draped over and around buildings and streets in sharp geometric patterns, not unlike Aakash Nihalani) was arrested last week while trying to create one such sculpture on the facade of Sothedby's the morning before a very expensive auction.

The idea behind the guerrilla art attack, Bassett told NBC New York, was to call attention away from the enshrined artists whose works were fetching millions, and get bidders and auctioneers thinking about contemporary art. Bassett told the Post:

The cops liked the concept, one cop called me the new Cristo. I tried to explain this was a modern art project, but the security guard was convinced I was trying to break in and steal the Warhol print. So the cops took me to jail.

Well, at least the NYPD (not always known for their understanding of public art) got something out of it. (Artforum)

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