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Another sort of gay bashing? Artwork at L.A.'s Craft and Folk Art Museum is vandalized

August 5, 2010 |  4:57 pm

Gay marriage piece It’s been a good week for gay marriage supporters in California, but not so good for two handsome plastic grooms. A sculpture on display at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles meant to look like a wedding cake topped by the beaming couple was vandalized on Tuesday.

“The two guys were unfortunately torn off and thrown about the gallery along with some other embellishments,” says Eilen R. Stewart, the museum's exhibitions and publicity coordinator. “Whether this was done by someone who had heard that the judge’s ruling was coming or someone who was just expressing their anger, we don’t know."

She says that a large group of high school students were visiting that day, but the museum has " no reason to think it was done by one of them instead of one of our other patrons." There are no security tapes to review.

Artist Susan Tibbles originally made the assemblage, consisting of found objects, as an illustration for a 2008 L.A. Times opinion piece by Nancy Polikoff, “Marriage Isn’t the Half of It." The artwork reached the Craft and Folk Art Museum as part of a group show, “Some Assembly Required: Race, Gender and Globalization.”

The museum plans to ship the work back to the artist for repair, hoping it can go back on view before the show closes on Sept. 12. In the meantime, the artist and museum both are still trying to make sense of the violent act. 

“I was surprised this happened,” says Tibbles. “It’s just a sweet little cake with a little message on it--well, a big message I think. For me the upsetting thing is thinking that it might be an 18-year old who did this. It makes you wonder what we are teaching our kids.”

For her part, Stewart has a more positive spin. "Yes, it was a negative action, but in a way it's a compliment to Susan's artwork that it inspired such emotion. How often do you put something on display that drives someone to action?"

--Jori Finkel

Twitter.com/jorifinkel

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