Inferior Department: Government Art Abuse Exposed!
By Steven Goss

Apache basket / planter

Whenever the government seeks funding for the arts, everybody feels their opinion on the subject is needed. It doesn't matter if they're a politician, priest or candlestick maker, they'll dig out their two cents. And, after the funds are doled out, they'll forget all about it. They didn't want to look at the art anyway. But what if someone did? Did you ever think about what happens to the art after it's completed? We did. And what we found out may shock you!

It's not surprising that most pieces end up in government buildings or offices. What is surprising is after they're installed, they're treated like Happy Meal swag. Office employees use the artworks to decorate their cubicles, offices, or in some cases, their homes. Consider the blatant misuse of some art the Interior Department uncovered in their own building in 1990. James R. Richards, the inspector general of the interior department at the time, reported 357 pieces from their collection had gone missing or been used inappropriately. When works weren't taken outright they were used as flarephenalia. Department employees made trash cans and planters out of fragile Apache baskets and used rare Navaho rugs as doormats, making Jesse Helm's abuse of funded art seem tame in comparison.

So are your tax dollars still being used to create costly office supplies? Shockingly, the answer is yes! During our intense undercover investigation on this subject, ARTless obtained several videotapes from security cameras located inside the Interior Department building. The images from these tapes prove that little has changed since Richard's first report of misuse.

 
 
     
 
     
 
ARTIST: Jeff Koons
ARTWORK: Two-Ball Total Equilibrium Tank
ABUSE: Sculpture found in Interior Department conference room emptied out and being used to hold loose pennies.
  ARTIST: Elizabeth Murray
ARTWORK: Can You Hear Me?
ABUSE: Painting found in unidentified Interior Department employee's office being used as a letter opener.
     
 
ARTIST: Peter Campus
ARTWORK: Three Transitions
ABUSE: Video found in Interior Department cubicle space being used by unidentified employee to tape Full House repeats.
  ARTIST: Sol LeWitt
ARTWORK: Five Towers
ABUSE: Sculpture found in Interior Department storage area being used as a storage rack for Interior Department Foghat record collection.
     
 
     


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