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Artist Occupies Bank of America With Unauthorized Pop-Up Exhibit

02.10.14 Aymann Ismail

“I’m willing to get a ticket or get arrested,” artist Serge Miquel told ANIMAL after finishing installing his unauthorized art show inside a Bank of America in NoHo on Friday. After taping up the abstract drawings in every window of the ATM-only branch, Miquel walked across the street and started working on a sculpture. He asked me to watch his bag and popped into a hardware store, returning with a small bucket of red paint. He poured the paint over a roll of black paper, shaped and anchored by clumps of dirty snow and ice. As the paint splashed over the payment, talked about the art world and how it was stuck in a hopeless loop of similar art.

“I’m really trying to break down those patterns,” he said. Miquel was also responsible for the pendulum pop-up installation spotted in SoHo last month.

He said that he was homeless, hence the bag. His clean-shaven, well-clothed appearance made me skeptical. “It’s important to maintain your appearance in this situation,” Miquel explained. He also said he’d been going to Juilliard, but stopped going because he couldn’t afford it.

“This is 24/7,” Miquel said, pointing to his Bank of America pop-up. “I’m trying to hold on to this spot for as long as I can.” Just as he finished pouring the red paint onto his sculpture, a police van turned around the corner and Serge vanished into the crowd. (Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)