- Mayor Mike Bloomberg
- United States of America
Artist Tom Otterness has been commissioned by an unnamed donor to sculpt bronze lions at the Battery Park Branch of New York Public Library for $750,000. In 1977, Otterness was involved in another art project. He bought a shelter dog, chained it to a fence, shot it to death and filmed the murder in a movie he called 'Shot Dog Film.'
This crime has tainted any work he shows, publicly, and it would be a disgrace for the NY Public Library to let this project proceed.
That he should now receive a $750,000 commission for an art project in a public library is unconscionable. Though Otterness has apologized, we recognize this as little more than lip service. His anti-social behavior makes him the worst possible candidate imaginable to create sculptures for a building that supposedly functions for the public good.
If Otterness is permitted to complete this project, the only decent thing to do would be to dedicate this sculpture to the dog he murdered and his commission should go toward caring for the homeless animals of New York City. Since he received no jail sentence, that would be the only way he could do penance for his crime.