In Awful Act of Protest, Florida Artist Smashes Ancient Ai Weiwei Vase Worth $1 Million

In Awful Act of Protest, Florida Artist Smashes Ancient Ai Weiwei Vase Worth $1 Million

On Sunday, a Florida artist smashed an ancient vase modified by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei as an apparent act of protest against Miami's art museums. At this point, those familiar with Ai Weiwei's work are likely thinking about pots, kettles and their shared color of black.

WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miam Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Ai Weiwei, who remains in a hostile relationship with Chinese authorities, is famous for his controversial art in protest of Chinese politics. After viewing Ai's iconic series of three photographs in which the artist smashes an urn from the Han dynasty, Maximo Caminero, 51, smashed one of Ai's "Colored Vases" on display at the Perez Art Museum to spontaneously protest the lack of local artists featured in Miami museums. Apparently, Caminero had no idea that the vase was from the Neolithic period (5000 to 3500 B.C.) and worth $1 million.


... Oops.

"I saw [Ai's photographs] as a provocation to join him in an act of performance protest," Caminero told the Miami New Times. "I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here." 

But though perhaps inspired, Caminero's act is completely misguided; Ai Weiwei does not support artists destroying other artists' work. And protest-smashing a vase because it represents the corruption of a government is, well, little different from protest-smashing an art installation because your own art wasn't featured in the same museum: One act is a political gesture, the other is like a temper tantrum. 

Caminero has since expressed regret: "I thought it was a common clay pot like you would find at Home Depot, frankly," he said. He continued to say he admired Ai Weiwei's work and respected him as an artist.

Clearly, respect and understanding don't go hand-in-hand.

Image Credit: Photobucket

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Karen Yuan

A passion for media, culture, and what media's doing to culture today. Student at Columbia, classical pianist, and Spike Jonze devotee.

MORE FROM

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”

Please stop hating on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Christopher Nolan's final Batman film is simply not as bad as some fans think.

It’s time for Steve Whitmire to let Kermit the Frog go

The veteran puppeteer is having a tough time relinquishing his 27-year relationship with the famous Muppet.

Debate: Is director Christopher Nolan the best or the worst filmmaker of our time?

Mic asked two staff members to debate the relative merits of award-winning director Christopher Nolan and his movies.

‘The Vampire Diaries’ ending could be what saves ‘The Originals’

The end of 'The Vampire Diaries' could mean a new beginning for 'The Originals.'

Let’s needlessly overthink these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “Stormborn”

Sam's still at the Citadel, looking miserable.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”

Please stop hating on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Christopher Nolan's final Batman film is simply not as bad as some fans think.

It’s time for Steve Whitmire to let Kermit the Frog go

The veteran puppeteer is having a tough time relinquishing his 27-year relationship with the famous Muppet.

Debate: Is director Christopher Nolan the best or the worst filmmaker of our time?

Mic asked two staff members to debate the relative merits of award-winning director Christopher Nolan and his movies.

‘The Vampire Diaries’ ending could be what saves ‘The Originals’

The end of 'The Vampire Diaries' could mean a new beginning for 'The Originals.'

Let’s needlessly overthink these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “Stormborn”

Sam's still at the Citadel, looking miserable.