The thin line between art and vandalism

Featured on KTRK-TV (among other sources) was the story about Joseph Carnevale, a Raleigh, NC, college student who swiped three barrels from a construction site to make a larger-than-life sculpture of a surreal monster trying to hitch a ride.

News of Joseph’s arrest on two misdemeanor charges (larceny and destruction of property) is all it took to draw hundreds of supporters out of the woodwork demanding the charges be dropped.

And I think the supporters of Joseph’s work have a point. Absent any provable danger to the public (unlikely) there is really no need for a criminal trial. The only thing I can see for sure resulting with a criminal trial is more unneeded mistrust of the police and court system– which we already have way too much of as it is. And that happens whether or not our budding artist Joseph Carnevale is found guilty or not guilty.

(Note that given the positive publicity Hamlin Associates, the construction company, has received, a civil lawsuit is not in the cards either.)

One of the supporters on Facebook makes references to “carjackings, drug deals, domestic violence and murders” happening at the same time as all this. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Raleigh police need a hard lesson in priorities.