The plot has thickened.
In response to having her painting purchased, and then painted over, and then returned to the streets, it turns out that it was Annie who took the NONE OF THIS IS REAL painting from the streets.
The street art community has been abuzz with talk about this event, as has Annie's Facebook page with all kinds of accusations and insinuations as to why Chod would have done such a thing. Well, Chod thought that it might be best to try and explain what he was trying to accomplish, and issue some sort of 'rebuttal' to the hate that has been hurled at him so far.
Read Chod's full rebuttal below:
My latest piece seems to have raised the ire of a fellow street artist named Annie Preece. I've been privy to some of her posts on Facebook and my Youtube video of the piece's creation (seen HERE) which I'll now do my best to address in the order in which I saw them. But before I do that I'd like to generally say that Ms. Preece seems to have missed the point of the piece and is incorrect in many of her assumptions about me and the artistic intent behind all of this.
Ms. Preece maintains that I am "trying to prove some point or make a mockery" of her. I am trying to prove a point. All art does or at least should attempt to. I am not, however trying to make a mockery of her nor would I attempt to mock any artist. I'm concerned with making my own work and little else.
The point: The intent of the piece is to explore the idea of value, specifically monetary value where art is concerned and even more specifically where gallery art done by a street artist is concerned, but generally the idea of what values we assign to objects and who specifically attaches value to them. In this case it's quite clear that Ms. Preece herself attaches the highest amount of value to the object, removing it from the wall it was attached to literally twelve hours after it was placed and taking personal offense to my use of her original piece in the creation of a new collaborative piece. More interesting though, is that the level of value she attaches to the piece obviously far exceeds just monetary value. She feels some ownership over it. This is clearly evidenced by her repeatedly calling the the object "my painting" in her response posts despite the fact that I purchased the painting which removes her claim to it. I'm curious if she still considers the object "hers" now that it's been altered by another artist, or if she'll continue to consider it hers after she sells it again and gives the proceeds to charity (which is commendable). I never expected Ms. Preece to reclaim the canvas but I must admit this turn of events has added something to the piece that far exceeded my expectations in terms of examining value.
Why Annie Preece?: Ms. Preece continually claims that I have in some way singled her out, that I'm attempting to gain some sort of notoriety by attacking her work. This couldn't be further from the truth. Ms. Preece was selected for a few very simple reasons. I wanted to keep as many variables in this piece (which includes not just the object itself but the location and manner of its placement, the final value ascribed to it, and the entire conversation that has now begun as a result of its creation) similar to one another. My end goal was to add my own work to the work of another artist (only the purchased work of another artist - I would never alter anything in the street), and then return that collaborative effort to a location we had both placed individual pieces. Annie Preece was simply the most readily available artist in terms of knowing the location of her individual work, knowing the location of a piece of hers that I could buy and knowing that we share a space of individual display - a wall that we have both put work on several times.
Ms. Preece's reaction: When I conceived this idea, I had no idea where the final piece would end up. I assumed there was a high likelihood that it would just get painted over by the proprietors of the wall it was attached to, which would ultimately reduce its perceived value to nothing proving the point that art only has value to those who give it value. I never imagined Ms. Preece would reclaim the object and have such an enraged reaction. In terms of fully exploring the concept of the value of art, Ms. Preece's reaction couldn't have added anymore to the piece.
The money: Ms. Preece and some of the other posters on her page mention wasting money or the amount of money spent to purchase her original piece. Much of my work deals with examining the systems of control that we created to govern our reality. Money is one of the primary systems. Its value is arbitrary and determined by collective agreement. The value of the materials in a one dollar bill and a hundred dollar bill are worth roughly the same - about nine cents. But we collectively agree that something with a number one-hundred printed on it is worth one hundred dollars and something with a one printed on it is worth one dollar. Money, like many other systems we're governed by isn't real. So while some people may see the original piece as having a value of only $2500, I see it as having the potential artistic value to open up the conversation we are now having which doesn't, for me at least, carry a monetary value.
A post from Ms. Preece on Facebook: "Fuck him he's trying to get attention by vandalizing my painting an hating on me then blasting it on the Internet. The point I was trying to make when I posted this is that his attempt to get noticed backfired. hes some young kid trying to come up but..."
Ms. Preece incorrectly assumes here that the painting is hers again. Because I owned the painting, I could legally do anything to it that I desired so her accusation of vandalism is blatantly incorrect. She also claims that I'm a "young kid trying to come up." This is equally inaccurate.
She refers to me as an asshole multiple times. Ms. Preece and I have never met therefore I can only assume her assessment of my character is based on our disagreement over the ownership of the object, my addition of work to the object and her continued attachment to it after its sale.
Ms. Preece claims than I'm "not an artist.' Everyone defines art differently but this brings up an interesting aspect of the piece that far exceeds value. In claiming that I'm incapable of creating art, she now begs the question - is the final object art or not? I'm curious to know how she would classify the piece we collaborated on. Is it art? Does it still have value as art to her, or to anyone else for that matter? These claims are precisely the reason why I created the piece. Again, her reaction elevates the piece to a place that I personally find extremely interesting.
While it's clear that Ms. Preece and I will likely never see eye to eye on this piece, I'd still like to thank her for adding an extra dimension to it that I never saw coming.
After reading Chod's well reasoned response, check out these screen shot's of Annie's Facebook page and another level of conversation with more emotional based ad hominem responses.