The news about the smashed pot at the Perez Art Museum Miami has now reached as far as France, China and even Romania. The green-and-peach pot created by Ai Weiwei as part of a 16-pot installation has been valued by the museum at $1 million.
Critics of the vandal Maximo Caminero are in arms about his destruction of a valuable piece of art, but also about his explanation for the gesture. Caminero said in a statement Sunday he did it for “all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here."
But Kevin Arrow, one local artist, did not react the way Caminero may have anticipated.
"I refuse this gesture being made on my behalf," Arrow says. "I lose when I am linked as a Miami artist to this ignorant person."
Arrow is also a museum professional working as a registrar and a collections manager. He says this act of vandalism makes a lot of unnecessary and cumbersome work for PAMM.
"And then there’s the fact that many lenders will think twice before allowing works from their collections to travel here, so everyone loses from this gesture," he adds.
After the incident, PAMM quickly pointed to an upcoming show by Miami-based artist Edouard Duval-Carrie, which has been in the works for several months. That show opens in March.
Caminero has issued an apology but will still face charges for criminal mischief.
In the future, Arrow has some advice for those who remain frustrated with local museums: "Start a punk-rock band [or] stage a performance in front of the museum. Do something positive and creative."
You can watch a video of Caminero smashing Ai Weiwei's pot here.