Jerry Vile set up 100 plastic vultures on the DIA’s front lawn yesterday

May 9, 2014

Jerry Vile strikes again. The artist (and volunteers) stuck about 100 plastic lawn flamingos painted to look like vultures — one can imagine Vile lovingly glueing on the feathers — on the front lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts. A banner was also erected, reading “Happy Bankruptcy: You’re Getting Flocked! Vultures by the Scads, LLC.”

It’s Vile’s latest prank that targets Detroit’s bankruptcy and the threat of selling the DIA’s artwork to appease “creditor vultures.” Within the past year the artist has put out an ad for Detroit’s liquidation in Metro Times, rolled out an oversized can of Crisco in front of the Joe Louis fist, and  placed price tags on public art throughout the city.

The only statement the artist has made so far about the vultures is a post on his Facebook page that says, “Sssssshhhhhhhh. Can’t wait to get a look at Beal’s face when he pulls up to work tomorrow.”

Negotiations are ongoing with regard to an $816 million so-called “grand bargain” — funded by numerous foundations, the state, and the DIA itself — that would spin the DIA into a new nonprofit and prevent the sale of any city-owned art. Meanwhile, Lansing is setting up a board that could oversee Detroit’s pensions and finances for 20 years, and also potentially appropriate $194.8 million from the state’s rainy-day fund toward Detroit’s bankruptcy.




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  • Detroit Diva

    How about putting these in front of the Michigan Central Station to shame Matty Moroun to do something with it???

  • K B

    How is this helping?

  • DetroitGoose

    Since when is art required to help?

    …but to answer your question, by bringing a new perspective to different people; spark ideas, controversy, conversation.

  • Alethafaye

    Well played Vile …

  • llee611838

    Is there any evidence to suggest he can be shamed into doing anything?

  • kumo

    How about the people seize control of everything being hoarded by the outrageously wealthy?

    We can put our resources to use for the public interest; we only need to the will to move forward.