One man’s art is another woman’s porn — and for the rest of us, it’s great TV.
People’s Court “judge” Marilyn Milian stunned the world of art, nudity and building etiquette last week when she ruled that a Bushwick woman who destroyed a montage of buxom nudes was justified in her personal form of art criticism.
The ruling, which will be broadcast in a few weeks, means that Marie Nazaire will not have to reimburse artist Rafael Fuchs for demolishing his one-of-a-kind piece, “Nude Megillah” — though the ruling hinged on a technicality stemming from Fuchs’s inability to prove the “value” of the 18-foot artwork.
Yes, Milian found that Nazaire destroyed the piece — hey, she readily admits it — but that wasn’t the matter before the esteemed TV judge.
As such, Fuchs was appalled at the kind of justice delivered on television.
“The judge said the woman was guilty, but I’m not getting any money,” said Fuchs, who had sued Nazaire for $5,000 in small claims court, but agreed to appear the TV show instead. “This judge prevented me from earning my money as an artist and providing for my own daughter.”
Fuchs claimed that the artwork — which consists of 16 explicit images of fulsome women flexing — is worth $7,200, though he admits that he listed it for 75-percent off at the Bushwick Open Studios art festival.
“The process of creating this long piece was spontaneous,” the artist said. “I felt like I was raped.”
But Fuchs is not the only one claiming the mantle of victimhood.
Nazaire, an expectant mother of two, made it clear before her demolition that the artist’s “pornographic” images in her lobby were an assault on good taste.
“Does anyone find it disturbing — especially the parents that have children?” Nazaire wrote on the Internet site set up for residents of the Troutman Street building, which is called Castle Braid.
But other Castle Braid tenants, many of whom work in the arts and creative industries, flooded the message board with more than 100 posts arguing that the piece should remain.
One resident wrote, “I loved it,” while another remarked, “Children should not be ashamed of their bodies.”
Lacking support in the court of public opinion, Nazaire begged her landlord, Mayer Schwartz, to remove the work or at least put a curtain over it.
When that approach didn’t work, she took matters into her own hands, tearing down the piece.
But Judge Milian declared the work easily replaceable — and therefore worthless.
But as television, it’s priceless.