Skip to comments.Artist Paints Fake 'Low Flying Planes' Sign Near Ground Zero
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."
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.
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.
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.
Yeah, trot him out every so often, he's a familiar face. Maybe the "legend" will start up again.
When I was a young boy, I thought art was supposed to inspire people.
Then I went to college and I was told that art was supposed to piss you off, confuse you, make you act like you "get it," and pretend to understand art's significance.
Then I graduated from college...with a degree in commercial art.
I still think the rest of those bums at college are full of $h!t.
I'm no longer a young boy, yet I believe that art is supposed to inspire people.
And anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell something.
Might it be in his "mind" if the artist found himself tossed down a few flights of stairs??
Of that I would take a "high humor" view...
Those women were distraught because some of their fellow New Yorkers had just been crushed to death, and the victims' bones, intestines and body parts were scattered all over Ground Zero. These women might have known some victims who had their heads crushed, hands or limbs severed, and who may have died slow, agonizing deaths. Many ladies were probably searching for their loved ones, not knowing if their husbands, brothers, sisters, etc. were dead or still trapped in the rubble or at a hospital.
And you were thinking of scoring.
Apparently you have missed the point. That sign is speaking to the aircraft that crashed into the WTC and killed 3000 people.
Before noon? So, are you saying that having lived in New York gives you an excuse to be a complete moron? I don't buy it, somehow.
How charming and gallant
Look, I was kidding! People react to different situations differently. I wisecrack through almost every situation that's tense - it breaks the tension and adds some perspective.