~NARA/latest subway cuff
NEW YORK POST – WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2009/PHOTO CREDIT: KYODO
FILE THIS UNDER: MAYBE THE NYPD SHOULD GET 10% of ART SALES – AFTER THEY MAKE AN ARREST – FOR STREET ‘ART’ -&- UP THE STREET CRED & DOLLAR VALUE OF THE ART ? !! ESP WHEN THEY’RE HELPING AN ARTIST – WHOSE WORK OTHERWISE – HAS SLIPPED INTO CREATIVE DECLINE ?!!
. . . well, the NEW YORK POST knows a good thing when they they see it – it’s the best place to to catch the latest on the subway wars.
Japanese artist NARA, in town for a show, was arrested for scribbling a small smiley face on the First Avenue L train stop at 3:30 am on Feb 27, 2009, “when officers saw him using a marker on the wall.”
Rumors were swirling the night of his BOESKY opening, (Feb 28), that NARA had been arrested – but no info was made available at that time. why it surfaced today, almost 2 weeks later – is anybody’s guess, but since a street arrest – is big business and there are extensive quotes from his lawyer, and a nice array of photos – is it crossing the line to speculate – that Nara’s own people put this publicity in play ?
don’t think Nara set out to get deliberately arrested, and are we surprised for scribbling something as banal as a smiley face, no !! – but his people sure knew a good thing – when they saw it.
It seems like the NYPD might have caught on that publicizing these arrests rather than tapping down the illegal scrawlings – only feeds the flames, esp when the rather small penalty is exposed. In this case according to the Post: “He was released after spending the night in jail and will have the charges dropped if he does not get in legal trouble for a year, officials said.”
that’s kinda lame – considering that if you have a graff record of any kind, and you are Canadian for example – you can never visit this country, cross these USA borders ever. as Canadian artist MATTHEW FEYLD, who resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada knows only too well. He had some minor graff infraction/record from way back when he was a kid – and he was not permitted to cross the border to attend a group show at Cinders last year, in fact pretty much just exactly a year ago. (Feb 22- March 23, 2008). what gives ? M-O-N-E-Y, and celebrity. duh !!
following simple logic – you’d think catching a graff vandal from another country, as in Japan – in the act – on local shores – would get him, Nara – the permanent boot – ?
obviously money and celebrity – kicked in – a big factor in the American justice system, whether people like it or not, no one denies that having a good private lawyer trumps most situations. esp of this nature. and when your work retails in the $125,000 – $500,000 range – expect one helluva good lawyer to show up – on the dot – and the ‘well-greased’ kid gloves to come out. let me tell ya, if not, its definite not going to be one night in jail and all charges dropped. For damn sure it ain’t gonna be: ” ‘Like in the movies’, he [Nara] told Art In America.” dude, what movies do you watch ?
In fact the Post goes on to relate:
“At the opening for his exhibit at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea on Feb 28, Nara, who lives in Tochigi, Japan called the arrest ‘a nice experience in my life’ in which he got to meet people he would not otherwise have encountered.” They should have left him in there for 24 hrs more – without a well-paid lawyer watching his back – he might not be singing such a sweet tune.
In fact Nara, whose works have gone at auction for as much as $1.5 million – was charged “with resisting arrest, making graffiti, criminal mischief, possession of graffiti tools and damaging property.” and apparently the only serious aftermath, apart from that social picnic of a night in a New York City jail – will be to add greater value to his now, shlocky work. “Staff at the gallery declined comment yesterday, but a Japanese television crew doing a piece on Nara said the arrest would only give the artist more street cred at home. ‘He’s going to get big notoriety for this here and in Japan’.”
the cops are definitely on the hot seat for graff – they are watching those surveillance cameras 24/7. so be warned. case in point. a well-informed, or sharp-eyed – passerby at the Williamsburg L train- LORIMER – stop – last weekend – was almost arrested, in the span of the 2 seconds it took to take out a small tourist-like digital camera, and try to snap 3 or 4 shots of a new (alleged) POSTER BOY ad. the image speaks to the current war zone – all on its own !! and from the intensity of the defacement – I would venture to say street artist, and poor boy, native New Yorker, i.e. homeboy – – Poster Boy’s recent run-in with the cops – wasn’t exactly – the “nice experience in my life” – million dollar tourist art celeb Nara was treated to !! nor was it for the few anonymous others, who seem to have added their own personal feelings re the NYPD – to the ‘collage’.
so, final words: make sure when you vandalize the sparkling clean property here, even with a little marker scrawled smiley face !! that, you have a big gallery behind you. otherwise the word out on the street seems to be that your nights in jail & your journey through the court system – will be no lark in the park. and if you are a regular tourist – as opposed to a celeb – chances are – you won’t be coming back.
PHOTOS: ANONYMOUS ?/COURTESY: NANCY SMITH
yep, that’s how bad things are. don’t know who took ’em – they just landed on my desk.