Fred Snitzer Says Urn Smashing Was "Crap," Calls Máximo Caminero "A Disgruntled Wacko"
Máximo Caminero's self-described "performance art piece" has pissed off a lot of people. His decision to smash a 2,000-year-old urn -- painted by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei and put on display at the Pérez Art Museum Miami -- enraged everyone from local artists to Ai himself.
Michael E. Miller
But Caminero's most strident critic is probably Fred Snitzer. The veteran gallery owner vented to New Times over what he called Caminero's "tantrum."
"This guy is off his rocker completely," Snitzer said. "It's stupid. If he was protesting PAMM, he could blow up PAMM. But what the hell did this artist do to him?"
Snitzer -- a mainstay of the Miami art world for more than 30 years, including a decade in Wynwood -- started the interview by saying he wasn't sure why we were writing about Caminero.
"What is that conversation? Whether or not it is legitimate to destroy another artist's work?" he asked. "He's a disgruntled wacko."
"The whole idea of local disenfranchised artists with gripes, it's sort of like saying that if your kid can't get into Harvard, it must be Harvard's fault. Most of the time if your kid can't get into Harvard, your kid isn't good enough."
The issue is simpler, he said.
"Good artists get shown and good artists sell, and bad artists don't. There is no indication this guy is a good artist. I hope he doesn't come and blow me up for saying that."
Snitzer said Caminero's complaints -- that art fairs are too exclusive, galleries too expensive, and museums too politicized for local artists -- doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
"Come on. There is so much attention in this town and so much activity and so much exposure," he said. "Of all the things that one could protest in the world, this is not one of them."