Miami Artist Who Smashed Ai Weiwei Vase Pleads Guilty

ai-weiwei-vases-perez-museum-miami
Vases by the artist Ai Weiwei at the Perez Art Museum Miami.

Maximo Caminero, the Miami artist who smashed one of Ai Weiwei‘s vases at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in February, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal mischief on August 13 and will pay $10,000 in restitution to the company that insured the object. In addition to the payment, which pales in comparison to the $1 million valuation of the colorful vase cited six months ago (see “Artist Smashes Ai Weiwei Vase at Pérez Art Museum Miami“), Caminero will serve probation for 18 months and will do 100 hours of volunteer work at local art programs, the Associated Press reports.

The vase, one of 16 included in Ai’s traveling retrospective “According to What?“—which just finished its run at its final stop, the Brooklyn Museum—as part of the installation Colored Vases (2007–10). Caminero’s action, which he claimed was a protest against the PAMM’s decision to exhibit works by established international artists rather than Mami locals, seemed to be inspired by Ai’s famous work Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995/2009), installed nearby. His destructive protest spawned a smashing computer game, Ai Weiwei Whoops!, in which players get to destroy vases and watch the costs of the damage add up.

It would have been pretty difficult for Caminero to dispute the charge of criminal mischief, given that the incident was caught on camera.

Watch Maximo Caminero smash one of Ai Weiwei’s vases:


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