Britto Sculpture Vandalized With Words "Not Art"

Categories: Crime
brittonotart.jpg
via Miamismpix.com
As Miami continues to emerge as a serious art center, the city's infatuation with the colorful yet shallow work of pop artist Romero Britto continues to be a source of embarrassment and frustration for some. Usually that frustration emerges in derogatory jokes or blog comments, but an unknown vandal has taken it a step further.

A Britto sculpture of a beach ball that sits outside the Miami Shores Country Club off Biscayne Boulevard has been tagged, "Not art." We don't condone the crime, but it is guaranteed to spur more serious conversation and thought than any recent Britto work does.

The pic first popped up on Miamismpix.com this weekend, and then on Beached Miami. So far, no one has taken credit for the tagging. Though he or she certainly makes a pretty obvious point.

We used to have an art history professor at UM who thought that the topic "What is art and what isn't?" was boring. She preferred asking, "But is it good art?" The problem with Britto is that everything he does is "good," in a way. It's all technically proficient (sometimes inhumanly so) and follows through on Britto's intention to a tee.

The thing is, Britto's intentions haven't been very artistic in a long while. He's a businessman. A visual commodities supplier. He whores his aesthetic out to any giant company with a check. He got his big break doing an ad for a vodka company. A challenge on an early season of Donald Trump's The Apprentice focused on selling Britto T-shirts. Britto's art is not even "Warholian." It's some post-Warhol, corporate-art nightmare.

The dude's not an artist. He's a businessman, and he's in the business of creating pieces for developers to plop in front of glorified strip malls, and for tasteless rich people to hang above their sofas. Those are his intentions, and, well, as evidenced by the profusion of his work that dots the city, he's pretty damn good at it.

Britto probably doesn't even get the same thrill out of creating as he once did. He hasn't grown as an artist or brought anything new to the table in years. He doesn't even supplement his corporate work with more worthy, ambitious stuff. It's all just one big neon-colored splooge. Hell, he has a team of assistants to do most it. But, hey, he drives a nice car and probably has a great condo. It's a trade-off.

pisschrist.jpg
Riptide just doesn't think it's cool to deface other people's work.
Call it design. Call it décor. Don't call it art. So, yes, you're right, anonymous tagger.

You're also wrong for doing it, though. Not only does that mar the method of actual artists who use graffiti (sometimes legally, sometimes technically not, but usually more respectfully) to get their message across, but also it's just plain disrespectful. It might not be art, but it's not fair game to be vandalized. That sets a pretty dangerous precedent. The guy who smashed Andres Serrano's Piss Christ didn't think it was "art" either. It's just not cool going around defacing other people's work because you don't like it.

Anyway, there are better ways to visually spark conversation about Britto's work than defacing it. Anyone remember the Britto-fied Abu Ghraib piece that popped up in Wynwood a few years ago?

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39 comments
internetinternet
internetinternet

In Miami tagging is art.  If you aren't vandalizing property you are not an artist. Miami is a slum, you have to lower you mentality to understand what those around you are thinking. 


lionelsuarez1977
lionelsuarez1977

The tagger actually improved the sculpture. Listen, I can lie to you and pretend to be against this tagging, but in actuality I see it as a small victory for the human spirit. I myself am not a vandal because I'm too much of a chicken, but I wouldn't mind if all the Britto pollution in Miami was tagged over.

lionelsuarez1977
lionelsuarez1977

Britto is a product of Miami yuppies all thinking that if they want to fit in they have to like Britto. But we all know that bad artists always hide behind abstraction because they'd be exposed as frauds if they entered realism - the realm of true art. Abstraction is to art, what punk is to music. Basically crap!!

Xavierlorenzo80
Xavierlorenzo80

Ok I may not know art, but I do know sports and there's NO other sports stadium in America That would use this guys "art work" the Latin marlins fans of Miami want a roberto clemente statue at R new stadium entrance,instead we get a giant beer mug from this fruit cake "artist" PLEASE I DONT WANT TO SEE STUPID LOOKING PEOPLE Statues WITH PUKE A DOT SKIRTS NEON PINK AND NEON GREEN HOLDING HANDS WITH EACH OTHER ALL OVER R NEW 515 MILLION DOLLAR HOME OR A STUPID NEON GREEN BASEBALL! GAG GAG GAG PUKE PUKE SPIT DRIP DRIP, THANKS LORIA

sunandfun
sunandfun

Can you tell me that the Soup Cans is art?  there is a hater to every celebrity that comes out with a different idea, the fact is that is "ART" stick and people bought it, what more do you want?. Keep bragging, the more you talk bad about him the more money he makes so go ahead and keep adding to his millions.

Beachcarmen23
Beachcarmen23

I love his work and own many of his lithographs, many were bought before he became famous. It is art to me.....Oh and by the way, I am not a tasteless rich person either.

Eugene
Eugene

1. There's always going to be a place for kitsch like Britto produces, and there should be. Not everything can be "Guernica," for crying out loud. 2. The graffiti, "NOT ART," makes this piece art -- it's much more visually interesting than it was before. 3. Any artist ought to be delighted his work provoked enough of a response to inspire defacement.

Roland
Roland

I have to reiterate my point because some still fail to see my point of view. Just gonna copy paste this.   Romero Britto didn't have a one man show in the Lourve,  it  was only one painting, and more importantly it was not in the actual museum, but in the Carrousel De Louvre ( a shopping mall underneath the museum).  No Museum holds his works in any of their collections right now, he has many galleries that resell his works to the public. There is little resale value to his work, because he has now saturated the market with so many original works, the art itself has lost a lot of its potency. 

Now, while I do not agree with vandalization of any kind, I do protest against this mans obvious monopoly over the public art scene, and the high powered bureaucrats that he has befriended over the years that take his sculptures and display them mostly because they're donated free of charge or he pays a minimal amount to them. The sculptures themselves are terribly made and there is no upkeep performed on these public works, some are rusting and falling apart at the seams. Artists in Miami are at their wits end because no one is giving them the slightest opportunity to show their works in public spaces, which has become detrimental and is now creating a stagnate artistic facade over Miami. There is a ton of diversity, talent and skill in this city. Plenty of amazing visions had by artists who are truly fighting to have a voice, but seem to get passed over time and time again by people with money who like to play favorites.    Take a moment to look at what's being advertised in this city and honestly ask yourself, don't you think its time for something new to be seen? In my opinion, I think we're way overdue to have new art and artists to emerge as new voices to represent to this city as a whole. Thanks again for taking time to read this.

factory
factory

Doesn't quite have the same impact as Tony Shafrazi, but then again Britto is no Picaso.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Hmmmm, I thought I saw several stacks of those at Wal-Mart in various sizes ? Seriously though, I really wish they'd paint over that paint job at Sun Life Stadium.

samthor
samthor

even if you don't like it... you don't have the right to destroy someone's work.... instead, make your own art.... go ahead and do better, if you think you can.

Kinkypork
Kinkypork

britto fits well in miami beach because both have less culture than yogurt.

Ng
Ng

Britto ruined many lives. There's a reason so many hate him.

STEVE
STEVE

IT'S A SHAME THAT THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT JUST DON'T GET IT!! BRITTO IS AN ARTIST THAT CREATS BEAUTIFUL, COLORFUL, HAPPY ART.  HE ALSO CREATES SMALL LESS EXPENSIVE PIECES THAT ANYONE CAN AFFORD, SO THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE WEALTHY TO OWN HIS ART.  HIS ART HAS BEEN DISPLAYED IN MUSEUMS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO RECEIVE CRITICS AND PUBLIC ACCLAIM. HE RECENTLY HAD A ONE MAN SHOW AT THE LOUVRE IN PARIS.WE SHOULD APPRECIATE HAVING A MAN LIKE HIM LIVING HERE.  HE DONATES HIS TIME, ART, AND MONEY TO OVER 250 VARIOUS CHARITIES.WHETHER HE PUTS EVERY BRUSH STROKE ON THE CANVAS OR IF HE HAS ASSISTANTS HELP WITH THE PIECE IS NOT IMPORTANT, AS THE FACT THAT HE CREATES THE ART.ALMOST ALL THE GREAT MASTERS OF THE PAST AND MOST ALL CURRENT ARTISTS HAVE ASSISTANTS HELP WITH THE PROCESS OF CREATING PIECES.

Samir Vasquez
Samir Vasquez

It's not right to vandalize someone else's work, unless you're the one getting shit pay for someone else's "design".  

Haro
Haro

it really does. $8 hr  in miami beach.  :)   heehee

Neo-Pop Art Cubist
Neo-Pop Art Cubist

to the "cool alternative" kid from the shores who wears all black but lives on the water and thought it would be intelligent and amusing to deface public art:  it's funny because you are just a hater.  the only thing you wrote was "NOT ART." sorry, but just because you don't like britto doesn't make his work any less art.  but you know what?  your words are not art.  you did not create anything worthwhile or meaningful to the community.  you are just jealous that britto is a household name.  nobody will ever remember your "tag," which is probably something asinine like "2B4Gotten" or "$nak3 3y3$." actually, it's probably less clever.  the only thing you succeeded at was creating a valid reason for even MORE miami shores cops to hang around the pool and drive around the golf course at night.  that's bad news for your friends' 3am schwag-fest on the eighth hole.  you are an imbecile and i hope you get caught.  remember when someone tried to shoot the mona lisa?  why did he do that-because it was art?  no, it was because he was crazy.  they caught him and i hope they catch you too.  and by the way, nobody will come see your band play at churchills next weekend.  because your band is terrible.  so stop wasting our time with those facebook invites because no matter if there is mud-wrestling, free jaeger bombs, or karaoke, we still don't want to listen to you whine.  just like your parents.  that's probably why they sent you outside to play with your friends.  either that, or because they didn't want you becoming one of those internet pervs, which you probably already are.

Fred
Fred

The irony is that your comment remind me Britto. They both look the same! 

Arteest
Arteest

People are just jealous they didn't think of the concept before he did to make millions. Fact.

Not art
Not art

Romero Brito's "work" is a cliche. I think it comes from a factory staffed by minimum wage laborers.

CarlosA
CarlosA

Yes, the soup can had a message, Brito's work has not. Thus one is art and the other is just decoration.

lionelsuarez1977
lionelsuarez1977

Whatever!! Listen, life is all about what you can do and can't do. Britto can pollute the city with his abstract childish corporate yuppie art, and the taggers can defile it as a statement of humanity over crappola. Everything in life doesn't have to be by the rules established by the powers that be.

Guest
Guest

That's somewhat ignorant to say. If you really took the time to explore all that the city has to offer, I'm sure you'll think otherwise.

BRITTO FTW
BRITTO FTW

apparently he ruined all your lives without even knowing it.  WOW britto is such a jerk!  maybe if he reads this, he will change his ways and tell miami-dade to fuck off and take all his artwork back.  maybe then other artists will have their chance that they deserve.  HAHAHAHAHA

lionelsuarez1977
lionelsuarez1977

Steve, you don't get it. Britto hides behind abstraction and you people fall for this shit. Its a mockery, its a gimmick.

Roland
Roland

Steve, please get your facts straight,  he didn't have a one man show in the Lourve,  it  was only one painting, and more importantly it was not in the actual museum, but in the Carrousel De Louvre ( a shopping mall underneath the museum).  No Museum holds his works in any of their collections right now, he has many galleries that resell his works to the public. There is little resale value to his work, because he has now saturated the market with so many original works, the art itself has lost a lot of its potency.  Now, while I do not agree with vandalization of any kind, I do protest against this mans obvious monopoly over the public art scene, and the high powered bureaucrats that he has befriended over the years that take his sculptures and display them mostly because they're donated free of charge or they pay a minimal amount to him. The sculptures themselves are terribly made and there is no upkeep performed on these public works, some are rusting and falling apart at the seams. Artists in Miami are at their wits end because no one is giving them the slightest opportunity to show their works in public spaces, which has become detrimental and is now creating a stagnate artistic facade over Miami. There is a ton of diversity, talent and skill in this city. Plenty of amazing visions had by artists who are truly fighting to have a voice, but seem to get passed over time and time again by people with money who like to play favorites. Take a moment to look at what's being advertised in this city and honestly ask yourself, don't you think its time for something new to be seen? In my opinion, I think we're way overdue to have new art and artists to emerge as new voices to represent to this city as a whole.

Guest
Guest

Seems like you know who it is...or you could totally just be depicting the type of person you believe would commit this crime. Not sure. But if you do know, a call to the authorities would be appropriate way of addressing the issue.

gus
gus

Actually it's probably worth more money after the vandalism. It definitely looks more like art.

666
666

You sir are a hating ass fool! Britto sucks and you can GFY! ;)

Minus 10 Pts!
Minus 10 Pts!

actually, the irony is that YOUR comment is not even in english.  it SHOULD read "the irony is that your comment remindS me OF britto."

Long_Knives_Drawn
Long_Knives_Drawn

you think?? nah its fact, just visit his studio! Youll find a sweatshop of underpaid starving artists

Steph R.
Steph R.

I applaud you! You verbalized my thoughts exactly!

Roland
Roland

*correction, he pays a minimal amount to them*

B.a.c.
B.a.c.

Dude who gives a fuck? Unless this is long form letter writing class it really doesn't matter if there are typos. Get over yourself dude. It's the internets man, FTW!

Fred
Fred

You're right. I hate that this comment section doesn't let me go back and edit. Sorry to offend. Oh, and don't forget, capitalization at the start of the sentence and on proper nouns.  Also, your period should have gone to the outside of the last quotation marks. Just thought the language cop should practice what he preaches.

New Times Moderator
New Times Moderator

As ridiculous as this argument might be, my inner grammar-Nazi is getting the best of me.The American standard is to have the period on the inside of quotation marks. The Brits place it on the outside though.

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