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Artist Paints Fake 'Low Flying Planes' Sign Near Ground Zero
WNBC.com ^ | May 13, 2003

Posted on 05/13/2003 5:12:58 PM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29

An artist who painted a fake "CAUTION Low Flying Planes" sign on a building near ground zero said Tuesday that he did not mean to offend anyone.

"If you take a low humor view of it, that's really in your mind, not mine," said artist James Peterson, who titled his acrylic-on-brick work "Caution: 2003." "It wasn't meant to be offensive."

But the painting, which includes an image of a flickering flame, has angered neighbors and provoked complaints to the city Landmarks Preservation Commission.

City Hall spokeswoman Lark Anton said a letter went out to the building's owner to remove the painting or apply to legalize it within 20 working days.

The building, a converted stable in Tribeca, falls under the landmarks commission's jurisdiction because it is in a historic district.

Speaking to reporters gathered outside the building, Peterson said he never applied for a permit or notified the building's owner, listed in city records as 17 Leonard St. Inc.

"I just did it," he said. "It was more of a guerrilla art piece."

Peterson, who is 36 and lives in Brooklyn, said he painted the 10-foot-by-14-foot artwork over the weekend.

"I was walking down the street one day and I saw a caution sign," he said. "It just all came together in my head. And then I was like, I just saw the wall and I went up and did it."

He said the painting was meant to as a memorial to the attack on the World Trade Center, a few blocks to the south.

"I was just trying to make a piece about what happened, like, after the second plane hit," he said. "Art, you know ... it doesn't just have to be pretty behind somebody's couch."

Christopher Roilph, who lives in the building, said he appreciated Peterson's point.

"The nature of art is that it changes your mind about things and causes you to have feelings," Roilph said.

Some passersby agreed while others said the painting should be removed.

"It's disturbing but I guess it wouldn't be art if it didn't disturb you in some way," said real estate agent Vanessa Low.

Donnahue Osbourne, an engineering technician, said the painting was not as offensive as vendors selling trade center souvenirs at the site.

But he added, "It doesn't fit. It just doesn't fit."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: art; gallowshumor; nyc
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1 posted on 05/13/2003 5:12:58 PM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
Unlike a gallery or a museum..one can't help but view this.I'd say it's insensitive.
2 posted on 05/13/2003 5:17:21 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
"It's disturbing but I guess it wouldn't be art if it didn't disturb you in some way," said real estate agent Vanessa Low.

Uhhhh Yeah.

3 posted on 05/13/2003 5:17:27 PM PDT by chance33_98 (www.hannahmore.com -- Shepherd Of Salisbury Plain is online, more to come! (my website))
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
After hearing the artist, I have to conclude that the point of the work was to show the pure doofusness of the creator. On that level it works quite well.
4 posted on 05/13/2003 5:18:11 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
That "artist" is one sick son of a gun. Cruel, cold, evil, sadistic are a few words I can think of to describe him. There is no humor in that anywhere.
5 posted on 05/13/2003 5:18:24 PM PDT by zip (I love being right)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
Someone needs to paint a "Low-wattage dork warning" on his apartment building.

6 posted on 05/13/2003 5:18:39 PM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
I really can't imagine anyone doing that and not doing it for the purposed of offending people. Sick, I think.
7 posted on 05/13/2003 5:19:36 PM PDT by Scenic Sounds
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
Artist Paints Fake 'Low Flying Planes' Sign Near Ground Zero

To paraphrase Will Rogers:

I don't know much about art but I know what I like. And that sucks.

8 posted on 05/13/2003 5:21:10 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (®)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
""I was walking down the street one day and I saw a caution sign," he said. "It just all came together in my head. And then I was like, I just saw the wall and I went up and did it."

36?!?!? How much dope has this guy smoked?

9 posted on 05/13/2003 5:21:57 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
*It wasn't meant to be offensive*....I can't imagine what he was thinking....
10 posted on 05/13/2003 5:22:02 PM PDT by mystery-ak (The War is not over for me until my hubby's boots hit U.S. soil)
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To: MizSterious
Someone needs to paint a "Low-wattage dork warning" on his apartment building.

I think that would probably be helpful.
11 posted on 05/13/2003 5:23:09 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: zip
Probably the same guy who photoshopped this:


12 posted on 05/13/2003 5:23:49 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29

13 posted on 05/13/2003 5:23:57 PM PDT by HighWheeler (def.- Democrats: n. from Greek; “democ” - many; “rats” - ugly, filthy, bloodsucking parasites.)
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To: HighWheeler
A wall painting cautioning people to be on the alert for low flying planes is seen on the wall of a building at 17 Leonard St., in New York's Tribeca neighborhood, about 10 blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, Tuesday, May 13, 2003. James Peterson, 36, the artist who painted the fake 'CAUTION Low Flying Planes' sign, said he did not mean to offend anyone. The painting has angered neighbors and provoked complaints to the city Landmarks Preservation Commission. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
14 posted on 05/13/2003 5:24:33 PM PDT by HighWheeler (def.- Democrats: n. from Greek; “democ” - many; “rats” - ugly, filthy, bloodsucking parasites.)
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To: HighWheeler
That's it..get rid of it.
15 posted on 05/13/2003 5:27:39 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: MEG33
Can't. It's Aaaarrrrrt".
16 posted on 05/13/2003 5:29:18 PM PDT by HighWheeler (def.- Democrats: n. from Greek; “democ” - many; “rats” - ugly, filthy, bloodsucking parasites.)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
This is tasteless but pretty funny: 9-11 humor is ok. It helps people deal with the issues better. I lived in nyc and was cracking jokes about it before noon on 9-11.
17 posted on 05/13/2003 5:29:28 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: HighWheeler
Oh baaaarf!
18 posted on 05/13/2003 5:30:05 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: zip
He's not an artist he's an attention getter.
19 posted on 05/13/2003 5:30:48 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: HitmanNY
I lived in nyc and was cracking jokes about it before noon on 9-11.

I think you were one of the few, outside of the West Bank, anyway.

20 posted on 05/13/2003 5:33:37 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: chance33_98
"It's disturbing but I guess it wouldn't be art if it didn't disturb you in some way," said real estate agent Vanessa Low.

What???? On which planet?

21 posted on 05/13/2003 5:37:11 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
People need to lighten up a little. Here's a quote I heard recently:

"Good art starts fights in bars."

22 posted on 05/13/2003 5:37:27 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Dog Gone
I lived in nyc and was cracking jokes about it before noon on 9-11.

I think you were one of the few, outside of the West Bank, anyway.

Hey, my humor was good natured, but not celebratory! n fact, I talked my coworker pal to hit the streets with me after lunch to look for distraught women to take advantage of!

23 posted on 05/13/2003 5:38:31 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: HitmanNY
I talked my coworker pal to hit the streets with me after lunch to look for distraught women to take advantage of!

How charming and gallant

24 posted on 05/13/2003 5:40:33 PM PDT by katnip
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
We must remember to support the arts. And by "art," I of course mean those various things produced by, or excreted by, artists who belong to the artistic community.

It is important for us to remember that in order to "push the envelope," artistic art must strive to be artistically provocative and controversial, like painting a Hitler mustache on a picture of Bush, and so on.

25 posted on 05/13/2003 5:40:58 PM PDT by IowaHawk
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
He understands the art zeitgeist: PR is the name of the game and the more controversial, the better.He is marketing himself, no more than that.
26 posted on 05/13/2003 5:41:22 PM PDT by habs4ever
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To: IowaHawk
An artist who painted a fake "CAUTION Low Flying Planes" sign on a building near ground zero said Tuesday that he did not mean to offend anyone.

And I didn't mean to say that he was a dumb as a box of rocks.

27 posted on 05/13/2003 5:41:57 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
I dunno - it may be that the outrageous abuse of the right of free expression is the price we pay for having it in the first place. But if we have to put up with the deliberately offensive - and this fellow is a liar or simply stupid if he claims he didn't realize it was offensive - then why are we impelled to listen to people who complain that such things as the confederate flag must be removed from public places because it also offends?
28 posted on 05/13/2003 5:41:57 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: cubreporter
He's not an artist he's an attention getter

You're right, he has received his "15 minutes of fame", good or bad. Actually, he isn't an artist, he is a sign painter. period.

29 posted on 05/13/2003 5:42:51 PM PDT by zip (I love being right)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
artist James Peterson

A-hole.

30 posted on 05/13/2003 5:44:58 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
"I guess it wouldn't be art if it didn't disturb you in some way," said real estate agent Vanessa Low.

I guess this means Hillary's fat ass belongs in the Louvre.

31 posted on 05/13/2003 5:45:41 PM PDT by IowaHawk
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To: HitmanNY
I've been accused many times of trying to make light of a bad situation, so I know where you're coming from. But that was a profoundly disturbing day for me, and it wasn't until the Tourist Guy photo made its rounds that I could begin to think of it in less than completely serious terms.

This particular "art sign" doesn't bother me personally at all. I see the humor. But I think it's needlessly hurtful to people who will never see the humor, and for that I reason I think it was not a good idea.

32 posted on 05/13/2003 5:46:23 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
Someone please find this guy, take him to a FDNY or NYPD station in lower Manhattan and allow nature to take it's course.

"Hold muh beer 'n watch this!" PING....

If you want on or off this list, please let me know!

33 posted on 05/13/2003 5:46:49 PM PDT by mhking
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To: Rebelbase
Hey, it's our tourist. Haven't seen him for a while. lol
34 posted on 05/13/2003 5:51:58 PM PDT by zip (I love being right)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
"It was more of a guerrilla art piece." I'm thinking a "gorilla" has more artistic ability than this clown. I'd be glad to listen to his views on art, if he would allow me to "put a boot in his a$$ it's the American way" and introduce him to the beauty of country music. Seems fair to me
35 posted on 05/13/2003 5:52:37 PM PDT by Fighter@heart
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To: cubreporter
He's not an artist he's an attention getter.

Exactly! He's just a jerk who wanted his 15 minutes of fame.
36 posted on 05/13/2003 5:57:32 PM PDT by Fawnn (I think therefore I'm halfway there....)
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To: zip
He ought to paint a sign and wear it around his neck that says: "I am in need of attention."
37 posted on 05/13/2003 6:07:10 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: Fawnn
No kidding. He knew what he was doing. Gosh, I wonder how it must feel to be that needy?
38 posted on 05/13/2003 6:08:03 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
"It's disturbing but I guess it wouldn't be art if it didn't disturb you in some way," said real estate agent Vanessa Low.

Gee I’ve been in many of the best art museums in the west (Uffizi, Louvre, Academia, Vatican, Kusthistorisches, British Museum) and as long as I stay out of the Guggenheim in Venice and that modern art museum in Amsterdam, art never disturbs me.

39 posted on 05/13/2003 6:13:12 PM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon (PEACE - Through Superior Firepower)
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To: Fighter@heart
...if he would allow me to "put a boot in his a$$ it's the American way" and introduce him to the beauty of country music.

BWAHAHAHAHA....

Now THAT is an excellent idea!
40 posted on 05/13/2003 6:16:08 PM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29 (Snapping fingers in a *whatever_shape_it_is* for emphasis.)
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
"Zeroisanumber Puts Boot to Ass, calls it Performance Art".
41 posted on 05/13/2003 6:18:22 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber
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To: HitmanNY
>Hey, my humor was good natured, but not celebratory! n fact, I talked my coworker pal to hit the streets with me after lunch to look for distraught women to take advantage of!

You make no sense. Anyone making jokes the morning of risked getting a fist in the face. I have never, ever heard a 9-11 joke and hope to never hear one.

42 posted on 05/13/2003 6:27:18 PM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: HitmanNY
Despite not ever having setting foot in NYC, what happened on 9-11 has impacted me greatly, and the events of that day remain a very clear memory.

Now, I personally know that I could not stomach any jokes about that particular day, but I do remember when, a couple of months later on 'Saturday Night Live', they did some spoofs regarding Bin Laden et.all and how I was so relieved to finally be able to laugh at something, that I almost wanted to cry...in gratitude.

...Well, there's MY emotional moment of the day.
43 posted on 05/13/2003 6:27:22 PM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29 (Snapping fingers in a *whatever_shape_it_is* for emphasis.)
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To: HitmanNY
"This is tasteless but pretty funny"

Yeah, I can just see the relatives of 3000 American souls burned and crushed that day just guffawing their rears off...not to mentioned the relatives of the killed and maimed service personnel in Afgan and Iraq. Yup, this is a real tummy tickler.

It may be clever, but it's not f**king funny.

44 posted on 05/13/2003 6:48:48 PM PDT by A Navy Vet
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To: A Navy Vet
I'm with you Navy vet, it isn't funny. If I lived there and this was bugging me, I'd solve the problem on my own.

I'd say 4 or 5 quart mason jars, filled with white paint, lids on, hurled at the "art", would solve the problem a hell of a lot quicker than some stupid historical building commission.

If he is free to paint on the building, then someone else is free to deface it. WTF, people in NYC are so helpless.
45 posted on 05/13/2003 6:57:53 PM PDT by Panzerfaust
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To: Sweet_Sunflower29
So what's stopping someone else from painting over it?
46 posted on 05/13/2003 7:01:15 PM PDT by kristinn ("Antiwar" Movement is in a Quagmire)
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To: Panzerfaust
Works for me.
47 posted on 05/13/2003 7:02:05 PM PDT by A Navy Vet
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To: Billthedrill
Most cities require a permit for a sign like that, which must follow certain specifications. I'm sure NYC is not an exception. Beyond that, persons painting them normally must be licensed.

Regardless of the propriety, there are at least a few violations of city ordinance here.
48 posted on 05/13/2003 8:20:07 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: zip
"he is a sign painter"

Not really. There are some errors in composition so basic that not even a beginning sign painter would have made them. Aside from that, though, looks like a fair amount of time was spent on the thing. Cleaning it off is going to be difficult if he used enamel and the bricks are porous.

49 posted on 05/13/2003 8:23:45 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: zip
Hey, it's our tourist. I haven't seen him for a while. lol

Yeah, trot him out every so often, he's a familiar face. Maybe the "legend" will start up again.

50 posted on 05/13/2003 8:30:52 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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