Every time Brooklyn artist Tom Otterness lands a big public art commission — like adorning a NYPL in Battery Park with his cutesy, rotund figurines — that bit about him shooting a shelter dog on film comes up. After complaints from the San Francisco Animal Commission, the Arts Commission is meeting to decide whether to revoke Otterness’ entire $1.4 million contract with the city.
Otterness has repetitiously apologized, before landing San Francisco’s $750,000 Central Subway and $700,000 General Hospital contracts, before the city “discovered” his “past.” If the San Francisco’s Arts Commission votes to rescind the contract, what happens to the $365,750 in payments it has already made to Otterness, used to start the work before it was halted with investigations?
Oh Otterness, not only did you murder a helpless animal without asking it whether it would rather die in the euthanasia chambers of a shelter or mid your art attempt (or you know, live). As a side effect, you’ve become the poster boy in the conservative newspapers’ long tradition of attacks on public art and art funding in general. Damn you.