In light of our recent viewing of what Mark Wagner can do with dollar bills, it is only fitting to feature the impressive work of Joseph Carnevale, 21, of North Carolina. Unlike Wagner who has not been charged with defacing currency, Carnevale has been arrested for his work to enhance the beauty of the lowly construction barrel.
Carnevale made the barrel monster and left it on the side of the road on May 31st. He is a history student at North Carolina State University and has been charged with misdemeanor counts of larceny and possession of stolen property for taking “three road blocking barrels and damaged them by cutting and screwing them together to make a statue.” The damage amounted to $350 to a construction company.
He was not hard to find. He detailed his work on his blog site , where he goes by the name uliveandyouburn. His blog offers all that a prosecutor would need . . . beyond a sense of humor.
I couldn’t get it out of my head. Its that itch, that need to make real an idea that has rolled around in one’s head for days, snowballed itself into a temporary obsession that just has to be satisfied.
I arrived in a flash and snatched them up from where they stood on the street. As I threw them into the trunk of the vehicle I had to rough them up some so they would fit. I shoved and beat and mangled them into place and was off before any witnesses knew what had even happened.
Later on that night, they stood huddled in the corner of the room, silent. They looked on while I slowly set out the duct tape and plugged in the power drill. Then I pulled out the switchblade and released the cold metal blade. They would never be the same.
Carnevale’s blog brings new meaning to Albert Camus’s famous quote: “A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.”
For the charge, click here.
12 thoughts on “Over a Barrel: North Carolina Student Arrested for Creating “The Barrel Monster””
Yes, that sculpture is funny and well done…BUT
it was someone’s property (reportedly worth $120 per barrel). The company doesn’t want to press charges and I heard they want the Monster for advertising purposes. But should it be okay to just steal others’ property because of an artistic impulse? Would you feel differently if you didn’t like the final product (or if an “artist” took something that belonged to you for their art)? This young man is also lucky no one was injured because he thought it a good idea to steal traffic safety equipment.
This crime might seem small, but could be part of a pattern; it violates his probation from an earlier conviction of stealing a motorboat.
I think that it is a brilliant artistic creation and that the barrels of which it is made are doing their job much better than they could if left as unmodified barrels.
Sort of tangentially on topic:
Scroll down the page to the trooper video under “litter and it will hurt”; the video is funny.
It looks to me like this guy has a case against the Transformer folks.
They still seem to have stolen his idea and they should pay him “tribute” ….
This man is dangerous and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, or not.
I can on some level understand the prosecution. However, what should the punishment be for this crime? We live in the days of “no tolerance,” where any non-conformist action that can be vaguely defined as breaking the law, leads to arrest. He should have been given a summons and then asked to pay for the actual (minimal) damage he wrought. Making “examples” of people as cautionary warnings does not make good justice, rather it leads to legalistic tyranny.
The Camus quote is quite apt. As are the comments that his art actually produces the effect that the barrels call for. I think he needs a good patent attorney.
I must say this is a long way from, what this site used to be. In Just 6 short months it has gone from interesting to blase. Even the irregulars don’t have much to say. Is it the summer doldrums? Or just as foo said to tired to care anymore?
Well I would like to say that would get my attention if I was driving down the road. That was a great ideal, just like Jill said. They need more. Not as impressive as a Dummy Cop car but every bit as eye catching. Just like the kid and the computers, they need to employee his services. Talent raw talent. Maybe he can be president. He has no problem with Vision. He sees a hindrance and makes something useful.
Construction Barrel= Hindrance
His Work= something useful
That would get my attention if I was driving down the road. That was a great ideal, just like Jill said. They need more. Not as impressive as a Dummy Cop car but every bit as eye catching. Just like the kid and the computers, they need to employee his services. Talent raw talent. Maybe he can be president. He has no problem with Vision. He sees a hindrance and makes something useful.
Construction Barrel= Hindrance
His Work= something useful
Correction to second link:
File this one under “illegal art.”
It’s a shame he stole these to create his sculpture, but luckily for his professional future this is a field where the notoriety of these charges may actually aide him in his ambitions as an artist. Kudos to the the local constabulary for not adding trumped up charges to the sheet, such as have recently been levied upon artists placing their work in public locations–e.g. http://www.boston.com/news/specials/local/cartoon_devices/ and http://www.bladediary.com/questionblocks/index.html–though I suppose there is plenty of time yet for them to cook something up.
The state should pay him to make more. That piece is really creative, beyond that, it’s a real attention grabber. I believe the barrels are there to get motorist’s attention. DUH!
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