I still can't quite get my mind around this story, although I first heard the particulars much earlier today: It's essentially the tale of an owner of an art gallery asking the police to get rid of an artist who was selling his work on the sidewalk a few doors down from his business.
[....] For four years the young New York artist Eric Doeringer has been producing work he calls "bootlegs." He sells the pieces outside [and sometimes inside] galleries, museums and art fairs in a conceptual project which has enjoyed some real critical and commercial success. The individual works take the form of scaled-down, very-affordable, crafted versions of the most recognizable products of the contemporary art market's biggest and priciest stars. His gallery is normally a sidewalk and a folding table, his public is a wonderful melange which can include the casual passer-by, the sophiticated patron or even some of the artists referenced in the work (some of whom have become his collectors). Doeringer has a show in Los Angeles opening next weekend, he will be in an art fair in Zurich the week after that, and we can expect to see him at Miami Basel later in the month.
Apparently Mike Weiss, who runs his eponymic gallery on 24th Street, where our young artist has usually set up his shop, had complained about [what I would describe as the performance element of] Doeringer's art the weekend before this and had threatened to call the police if he returned the following Saturday.
[....] At some point in the afternoon on Saturday he was approached by the police, who told him they were responding to a 311 complaint. They informed him he would have to leave [....] He packed up his work and confronted Mr. Weiss, who admitted he had called the police. He said that he didn't like "seeing people walking around with tiny paintings," while he was paying high rent for his gallery and, "trying to sell $30,000 paintings." [More....]