After months with no decision on the future of San Francisco’s contracts with Brooklyn artist Tom Otterness after discovering that he shot and killed a dog on film and called it art in 1977, the city is finally set to vote and decide.
Though Otterness has expressed remorse and released numerous public apologies, the incident continues to haunt him. Once officials were made aware of Otterness’ past by a September article in the Ex they put the $750,000, 59 sculpture Central Subway deal “on hold,” as was another, $700,000 contract for a set of sculptures to decorate San Francisco General Hospital.
As the Ex reports, the SF Arts Commission will hold a meeting Wednesday to vote on the future of Otterness’ contracts with SF.
Discussion and possible action to proceed with, continue to suspend, or terminate the contract(s) with artist Tom Otterness for the (i.) General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Potrero Avenue Entry Plaza and Pedestrian Walkway and (ii.) Central Subway Moscone Station: Wayfinding Artwork, subject to any required approvals from the Department of Public Health, San Francisco Metropolitan and Transportation Agency, or any other appropriate agencies.
However, terminating Otterness’ contracts comes at a price. $365,750 in payments have already been made to him for the hospital contract, and termination most likely means San Francisco will have to eat the costs.
Wednesday’s Arts Commission Meeting is open to the public, and will be held Wednesday, November 16 at 2:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 416. The agenda for the meeting is here.
Photo of Boy & Dog by Tom Otterness: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
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