He’s been photographed dropping vases before — but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for just anyone to do it. Ai Weiwei has made a name for himself by not only creating visually arresting and thought-provoking art, but for his uncompromising activism in opposition to the Chinese government. Ai was on the receiving end of a protest this weekend when a local Miami artist smashed a “color basis” vase valued at $1 million, part of the artist’s “According to what?” exhibition at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in the city. The exhibition also included photographs of the Chinese artist dropping what appears to be a Han Dynasty urn. Maximo Caminero, a Miami-based artist, was named in a police affidavit as the defendant. He told an officer that his act was a protest against the gallery’s decision to only display international art. The police report states that Caminero picked up the vase before being advised to put it down by a museum official. He then dropped it “in protest.” He was charged with criminal mischief. Ai, meanwhile, told CNN that he didn’t have “much reaction” to the news, but said that he thought that a line should be drawn when it came to damaging public or private property as part of a protest. Ai said that he considered his work — specifically the triptych which shows him dropping an antique urn — to be “very different.” “My work belongs to me, it doesn’t belong to the public and also it doesn’t [belong to] somebody else.” He said he believes he has been contacted by the gallery but he isn’t taking the loss too seriously. “I don’t really care much and actually my work is often damaged in different shows, because it’s fragile, so normally I don’t take these things too highly. Damage is damage, you know. If they have insurance, maybe it will be covered.”
So here are your cliff notes: A guy is mad at the museum so he picks up a vase and shatters it into Bolivia. The guy who made the vase, Ai, got famous by doing similar things and protesting the government and does not give a fuck. And why? It seems the Chinese guy whose vase it was understands that art is fucking ridiculous. He’s like yea it’s a stupid vase, what do I care that this idiot broke it? “Damange is damage, you know.” So laxed. He’ll just roll out of bed and make another “piece of art” that they’ll say is worth infinite more than it really is, and that’ll be that. As for the guy who smashed the vase, love his thinking. It’s how you get noticed in the art world. Circle of life. Chinese bro broke a few things in his day, now weirdo is doing the same. Expect weirdo probably sucks and will go back to the McDonalds, and Chinese bro will continue rolling around in money.