A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase by a Chinese artist at Miami’s new art museum to protest what he called its favouritism for international rather than local art.
Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday’s incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami. According to a Miami Police Department arrest affidavit, a security guard told officers that Caminero picked up a coloured vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. When told to put it down, the security guard said, Caminero smashed it on the floor.
Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum’s lack of local artist displays and because “the museum only displayed international artists’ art,” according to the affidavit.
According to the Perez Art Museum Miami’s website, the vase is one of more than a dozen that are part of a floor installation. Each vase is partially painted in bright colours.
Behind the vase display are a series of three black—and—white photos showing Ai holding a vase and then letting it drop to the ground, smashing into pieces.
The “Ai Weiwei- According to What?” exhibit runs through March 16 at the museum.AP