Ai Weiwei vase / dropped in protest
On February 18, 2014, a painted vase by Ai Weiwei was destroyed while on view at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. That afternoon, Maximo Caminero, a 51-year-old local artist, picked the work up and, when told by a security guard to put it down, dropped it to the ground, smashing the vase into pieces. Caminero later explained that the act was a protest against the gallery’s decision to only display international art, saying, “I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here. They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It’s the same political situation over and over again. I’ve been here for 30 years and it’s always the same.“
Caminero also explained that the act was directly inspired by Ai’s work - specifically "Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn,” a series of photographs which shows Ai himself dropping a vase to the ground. "It was a spontaneous protest,“ he explained. "I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei’s photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest. I admire Ai Weiwei greatly and have always supported his actions.”
The work, valued at over $1 million, was destroyed beyond restoration.