Miami Artist Destroyed $1M Ai Weiwei Vase Because PAMM "Only Displays International Artists"

Categories: News

Maximo_Caminero.JPG
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Maximo Caminero allegedly destroyed an Ai Weiwei vase worth $1 million
Yesterday, art lovers around the world were shocked when someone strolled into the Pérez Art Museum Miami and destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei.

Well, the story gets even more shocking. That's because the vandal wasn't a political objector or a random crazy person. He was a fellow artist.

The vandal is actually Maximo Caminero, a well-known local painter who has shown works at the Fountain Art Fair. He tells New Times that he destroyed the vase to make a point.

"I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," he says. "They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It's the same political situation over and over again. I've been here for 30 years and it's always the same."

See also: Visitor Smashes Ai Weiwei Vase at PAMM

According to a police report, a PAMM security guard saw Caminero pick up the vase yesterday afternoon. When she told him to put down the piece of art, he "threw and broke the vase on the floor in protest."

Caminero then "spontaneously told [police] that he broke the vase in protest of local artists and that the museum only displayed international artists," according to the report.

See also: Why Maximo Caminero's Ai Weiwei "Protest" Was Stupid

ai-weiwei-colored-vases-thumb-500x287.jpg
"Colored Vases", Ai Weiwei, 2006-2012
Caminero is a reasonably well known local artist. The 51-year-old painter was born in the Dominican Republic and has shown his frenetic, colorful, abstract, Caribbean-influenced paintings at art fairs including Fountain.

Last year his work went on display at Babacar M'Bow's Multitudes Contemporary Art Gallery in Little Haiti.

Yet Caminero tells New Times that he had no idea Weiwei's work was worth $1 million.

"I didn't know that it was that amount," he says. "I feel so sorry about it, for sure."

"It was a spontaneous protest," he explains. "I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei's photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. And I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest."

"If you saw the vases on display and the way they were painted there was no way one would think the artist had painted over an ancient artifact," Caminero says. "Instead I thought it was a common clay pot like you would find at Home Depot, frankly."

See also: Some Miami Artists Praise Protester at PAMM

"I wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are many foreign artists like myself and others who have been here thirty years and have never received attention or support from MAM or now PAMM and other local museums," he continues. "We are all taxpayers here and PAMM used $200 million of public money on its building and opened with Weiwei's work to draw attention to itself and as always continues to ignore local artists."

"I lifted the Vase and let it smash on the floor like WeiWei did in his picture then waited for authorities peacefully and never resisted punishment," he says of his act of defiance. "But honestly I had no idea the vase had any value. I admire Ai Weiwei greatly and have always supported his actions while he was suffering indignities from the Chinese government."

Here is Caminero's artist statement from Facebook:

Caminero_Facebook_page.JPG
Facebook
Caminero now faces felony criminal mischief charges.

Update: Ai Weiwei has condemned Caminero's protest, but some Miami artists are supporting him. One calls Caminero's crime "the most courageous act ever undertaken by a Miami artist." Read the full update here.

Carlos Suarez De Jesus contributed reporting to this article.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Location Info

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Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General


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82 comments
schultzybeckett
schultzybeckett

This runs close to paradox. Does it amount to saying that an abstract picture pictures nothing and indeed is not a picture? It is perhaps better to speak of works rather than pictures. Still, to say that a work is abstract if it is non-representational does not hold in general. Most architectural and musical works are non-representational, yet are not thereby classed as abstract. Something is missing in the equation of ‘abstract’ with ‘non-representational’

Thanks

Schultzy

SM @ http://www.exportingart.com/


pictureworker
pictureworker

Ai Weiwei sounds in German as Auweia and means something like Oops! 

This vase is never worth 1 million dollars ... 

This artist is completely over-doped ... 

as well as Damien Hirst and co. Open your eyes ... 

Congratulations to this brave deed to Maximo! 

miami305neighbor
miami305neighbor

His ignorance about the value of the vase, does not justify his act of violence, his vandalism. He is just a stupid guy trying to get into the national headlines He wants his 15 minutes of glory. He should pay for the vase, or make some time in jail.  Who says that all local artists have to be shown in a  world class museums?.  It is like any local singer wanting to sing for the Florida Grand Opera in the Adrienne Arsht Center. 

chillydogg11
chillydogg11

Was the vase worth a million before or after it was painted? Why did they have 16 million dollars worth of vases sitting on the floor were any kid could have knocked them over?

dubletruble305
dubletruble305

This idiot has no right to walk into a museum and start breaking anything I hope he spends a long time in jail in America we protest publicly and legally not by vandalism and hatred 

grizeldapugh
grizeldapugh

The only talent ever exhibited by Mr Ai, is in his ability to get his name in the press. How on earth can the derivative rubbish he churns out be ticketed at $1M ? If he paid his taxes he wouldn't have trouble with the Chinese authorities, but he needs to become a lot more skilful, if he hopes to have his work exhibited in China. A classic example of the emperors new clothes.

artistfox
artistfox

If WeiWei's art is the defacement of Han Dynasty pottery and it constitutes art, isn't Caminero's defacement of the same pottery just an extension of the artistic process? Why doesn't PAMM put a sign up next to the broken shards and label it a collaboration piece between the two artists? One act of vandalism begets Art, thus isn't the second act of vandalism also "Art?"

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................funny that a guy from the dominican republic claims MIAMI - is he even a US citizen ? anyway i guess the nice thing about MIAMI is that it's so close to AMERICA 


as for chinese they were the FIRST ethnicity the US Congress legislated the SEDITION and ALIEN ACTs to ban and deport all chinese AFTER they build AMERICAs railroads


maybe after CASTRO dies everyone will go home again and we can have our country back


carivaggio was a real wild man - this guy is just an idiot

Franco Demonte
Franco Demonte

If in fact they were I find it hard to believe they would half hazardly display them on the floor like that.it seems to me they look like new vases or urns.ai wewe even said he used cheap paint to dip them in. Maximo said they looked like they were from home depot. Like everyone knows in art any publicity is good, especially controversial or criminal. I heard a lot of people complain about the name being given to the highest bidder for the museum a wealthy real estate investor PEREZ.I don't believe everything I hear especially when it comes to art.there is always a lot of hype.I think even though it was wrong what maximo did he as an artist has the right even if its illegal to express his belief but definitely not a good way to get a show in a museum.

dimitri.sculptor
dimitri.sculptor

MAM / PAMM have shown and continue to show local art and artists and always have?! Unfortunately, Maximo Caminero is misinformed or ignorant to this fact but, he will certainly be adding, "convicted felon" to his resume for destroying an artist's work in a museum. If Maximo Caminero, a native of the Dominican Republic, even considers himself a local artist or that his art works are worthy of a museum exhibition is now a mute point as, he is no longer a person in good standing in our community. Convicted criminals who destroy art works in museums do not deserve to have their art works shown anywhere.

Ariana Hernandez Reguant
Ariana Hernandez Reguant

This is the million dollar question! :-) If his point was to revalorize the archaeological piece according to contemporary arts market value, Caminero's act was yet another act of re-valorization by removing both the contemporary art value and the archaeological value. Ironically, he did the same that Wei Wei had done, but instead of money he got a court citation. So he also exposed the speculative nature of the art world, particulary at a museum based precisely on that (apparently the Wei Wei exhibit was missing the pieces that were displayed in DC where it was before, which criticized precisely the links between real estate speculation and art speculation -very fitting for the P-AMM - but somehow that part did not make it to Miami).

Franco Demonte
Franco Demonte

Ariana Hernandez Reguant do you think those are really 7, 000 year old urns dipped in cheap paint?

silly2
silly2

Hey douche, did you ever stop to consider that your "art" was not worthy of a showing? What a d!Ck!

jjcolagrande
jjcolagrande

MAM hosted a whole exhibit dedicated to Miami artists last summer.

And I'm pretty sure PAMM has two huge Naomi Fisher photos on exhibit.

This is a crime, not a protest. Dude's a dodo bird and will likely face prison.  


Patrick Garcia
Patrick Garcia

uhhh did anyone bother to even read the article?

Max Brava
Max Brava

Why attack the art of another artist......if this guy wanted to make a point (which he did) why not do damage to the museum itself and not another artist's work???

Meli Misley
Meli Misley

He has a valid point. They used public taxpayer money $200 million... but show no local artists

Juny Lee
Juny Lee

He's a fool!!! hater!!! WeiWei is an amazing artist! Who is this fool?! Uh NO ONE! But he has a name now bc he did this! Dumbass.

icarusty
icarusty

Good to know the stance of many Americans, who despise the Chinese regardless of whether they are for or against communism. And have to destroy their historical artefacts to show their hate.

David da Silva Cornell
David da Silva Cornell

Re "so one artists is charged with vandalizing another artist's vandalization of a really old artist's work?" and "when Ai WeiWei breaks ancient vases its art..but when this artist does it , its a crime.": Um, when Ai Weiwei painted vases and smashed a vase, he actually owned them first. So yeah, when this artist does it it's a crime.

Jo Braga
Jo Braga

Maybe some imaginary being whispered in his ear to do it? He can blame imaginary friends right?

andrewhortonart
andrewhortonart

Caminero's ignorance is astounding. The museums of Miami, including PAMM, have at times been locally focused to a fault. The collection of PAMM is full of work by local artists of many backgrounds and mediums, many of which are currently on display. What declaration does he make when he destroyed the work of another artist whose work is a critique of capitalism and totalitarianism? His action isn't radical: it's the petulant fit of a child. It shows that he has no interest in contemporary art or respect for the art of others. If Caminero's complaint is that he can't get his art on a wall in Miami (a city teeming with opportunities) then he should either look at his own work critically or get a booth at the Swap Shop.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@grizeldapugh Mr. Ai was arrested by the Chinese government for being a political dissident.

The Chinese government is a murderous dictatorship and so he is under no moral, ethical or even legal obligation to financially support them.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@artistfox

.....................well here is how a canadien publication reported it:

"However, none of that changes the fact that Ai too has chosen to make a point by destroying the work of another artisan — just as Caminero has now done with Ai’s art in Miami. Yes, Ai makes a valid point that he owned the vases he destroyed and defaced, while Caminero did not own the vase that he destroyed, but doesn’t an ancient artifact enjoy some protection beyond mere ownership by an individual?"

i guess that will give this event legs to go on about the whole thing ad nauseum

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@artistfox Why?  Because the Pottery is HIS PROPERTY.  What the so-called artist, Caminero did was destruction of PRIVATE PROPERTY.

jhstruggle
jhstruggle

@frankd4 yeah spoken like a true racist fuck.Piece of white American Trash is all you are.Crawl back into your redneck hole and stfu.Remember you are a minority now,there are more spanish and blacks in america than there are white people..And this is not your country you stupid fuck..The WHITE MAN stole it from the indians.So how about your dumb ass takes yourself to your homeland of england.

marcel333p
marcel333p

@frankd4  Well, better being fed and building railroads than starving to death. 

Castro and the Dominican Republic ???? 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

............i dampens the possibility of GREAT ART in private hands to be publicly displayed and insurance coverages will escalate to the point this privately owned ART will never be seen by the public = period

as for PEREZ he is simply a developer who has made a fortune selling luxury high-rise condos to international drugKINGpins who buy sight-unseen units at $800 per square foot for CASH wired in from off-shore LLCs most likely to launder profits or avoid holding assets in their south american countries that might one day be confiscated by a revolution regime changing new government take-over (MIAMI is particularly open to drug dealing cowboys since the police departments, politicians and even judges can be bought off to look the other way here and in general the constituency simply chases one shinny object after another no matter the illegal source of money here)

as for an ART scan well MIAMI has every other sort of scam and fraud and hijinks going on so why not an ART SCAM ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................dude CONVICTED CRIMINALs are treated as ordinary rock-star glitteratti here in MIAMI from joes stone crab MINIK to politicians like alex douad and LIQUIDS chris paciello were ALL heralded during their time

pictureworker
pictureworker

These vases are never 5,000 to 7,000 years old .... 

This is a great show ... 

Do not forget that the Chinese are world champions in copying. 

By the way, many museums and investors on this world have fakes in your collections ... psssst.... too much money has been invested ..

dimitri.sculptor
dimitri.sculptor

Not true, MAM / PAMM have shown and continue to show local art and and artists. Wake up, do your own research. Maximo is misinformed, ignorant and soon to be a convicted felon for criminally destroying art in a museum.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................and IF " the WHITEY stole it from the seminoles, "

well, WHAT IF the seminoles stole it from the mayans and the mayans stole it from the aztecs and the aztecs stole it from the chinooks and the chinooks stole it from the neanderthals and the neanderthals stole it from the wooley mamoths and the wooley mamoths stole it from kennewick man and kennewick man stole it from the flintstones  ?

that's why ultimately all the competing interests have to come to terms with uncertainty in a legally systematic and transparently organized governmental enterprise subject to DUE PROCESS

that spanish may come into power and significantly change the system remains to be seen - the blacks have proven time and again they cannot handle the concepts of legacy and marriage and strong family nuclear cohesion to be self-sufficient or even employable as the basis for success of good parents and good education just does not exist in black america = period (you may call that racist but i see it daily riding the bus how black people will trash the SAME BUS they have to ride the next day - hispanics seemed to have caught on that you DON'T SHIT where you eat ! and for the most part BCT is mostly ALL black and trash is everywhere and sorry, but WHITEY isn't responsible for that)

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@jhstruggle @frankd4  


obviously the product of a poor education and an unresourced upbringing


stop using RAP music as the basis for your vocabulary and pull-up your pants and join the rest of us in a civilized society


no one needs to reduce their ignorance to the point of stereotypical labels and simple ghetto words


MY homeland BTW is AMERICA with italian and german heritages with my mother from bavaria but my fathers side going back five generations geographically spanning the NYC metropolitan area from newark NJ to new haven CT based primarily in the ravenswood section of astoria queens - i speak italian and german as well as some spanish and french


and last i checked here in AMERICA we are all entitled to OUR OWN OPINIONs but i am sure you are a follower with no leadership potential who rants and raves because of a stunted ability to communicate - too bad

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@dubletruble305 @frankd4  


..............true,  and the ramifications of the whole episode will have a great deal of impact on the ART scene including important works in private hands which may not be made available to the general public as being too risky to potentially expose to a nut in the crowd !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Impartial @jhstruggle  


.............the saying is IGNORANCE IS BLISS


but be patient, these clowns generally wear themselves out and fall away from the action early

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