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Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Illustration for The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City
from the official website,

The Gates press conference,
Jan. 22, 2003.
Photo Wolfgang Volz.

Tom Otterness
Free Money
on the Park Avenue Mall
at 57th Street, New York
Mayor Bloomberg, Art Moron
by Charlie Finch

Let them eat Gates.
                                 -- Jeanne-Claude
In case you don't know who Jeanne-Claude is, she's in our opinion the vulgar, opportunistic wife of overrated pussy-whipped artist Christo. The above quote is her response to the news that wimpy New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed off on the couple's grotesque project to inflict their gross orange gates on a pristine Central Park in February 2005.

Yes, during a cold February two years hence, young mothers will have to navigate through a craphole of orange taffeta to enjoy a day in the park with their children, dancing by 1,200 Christo cultists defenestrating our beautiful park.

Thank the effete mayor Michael Bloomberg, standard bearer for the wealthy art patrons of the Big Apple, whose air-headed tastelessness surpasses any elite on earth.

Want further proof? Check out Tom Otterness' deeply insulting public sculpture, Free Money, just installed on Park Avenue and 57th Street, described by the artist's gallery, Marlborough, as "a blissfully happy couple dancing atop a large, tied bag of money designated with a dollar sign."

Gee, what a sensitive public signifier at a time when city expenditures are plummeting, city taxes are soaring and the homeless are clamoring for a warm doorway during the worst surge of New York arctic winter since 1977.

Let's quote Bloomberg's hack parks commissioner Adrian Benepe: "Tom Otterness is a great New York artist whose work is thought-provoking and whimsical and is also accessible to a wide audience."

Well, you know, Otterness is actually from Kansas, and couldn't we install his offensive sculpture on the fruited plains in exchange for some extra meals for the poor?

The mindless indulgence of fine art circuses by the clueless Bloomberg, reminiscent of Agnes Gund, Flo Biddle, Peter Lawson-Johnston and the other insensitive richies who have destroyed New York's vibrant museum world, is disturbing, disgusting and foul.

We live in a world where New York's museum directors expect taxpayers to indemnify their exhibition schedules through a National Endowment for the Arts insurance program, while raising prices, cutting hours and neglecting their own classic, nonprofit spaces.

"Let them eat Gates," indeed. Let's lock up them all: Bloomberg, Benepe, Christo, Otterness, Jeanne-Claude, Krens, Gund, Lowry and the Lauders, behind the gates of Dannemora, before their evil hubris consumes us all!

CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).