Vandals take aim at Foots’ controversial work

| 15/08/2017 | 44 Comments

(CNS): The controversial statues created by Cayman Brac artist Ronald ‘Foots’ Kynes and displayed at his yard and land nearby at his South Side home have been vandalised. The local artist was arrested last month under archaic legislation after some of his neighbours had complained to police that the work was offensive because it depicted stylised images of women in sexual embraces, which they claimed contravened obscenity laws. But now someone has gone a step further by smashing up some of the sculptures. Police, who have not charged Foots with any crime since his arrest, are now investigating the vandalism.

The artist found his work had been damaged on Saturday, 12 August, having last seen the pieces intact the evening before.  When police arrived at the property on Saturday they found some statues that had been on display damaged and lying on the ground. Police said they spoke with the complainant, checked the area and are conducting an investigation.

Like many artists, Foots’ work challenges the boundaries of convention and stirs up debate but whether the public appreciates the work or finds it offensive, art has long held a place in society where people expect boundaries to be pushed. After his arrest, Foots said he was planning to stand his ground as he believes he is the victim of a witch-hunt and the art was displayed on his own land.

“I will not take it down, plain and simple, and I’ll fight them through any court in the world, and if I have to we’ll all tumble through the gates of hell on this issue, at the cost of my own soul. I have no problem with this. I will stand my ground and my rights,” Kynes told Cayman 27 last month. “If this issue does go to court, because right now I’m under suspicion, OK? I’m not formally charged yet and then one thing I will say…If and when it does, I want a jury,” he added.

CNS reached out to the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands as well as local artists and, while the gallery had not responded to our requests for comment, a number of artists told us that Foots’ arrest had caused them concern because censorship has a chilling effect on all artists.

Anyone with information on the destruction of the art is asked to contact the Cayman Brac Police Station at 948-0331. Anonymous tips can also be provided to the RCIPS Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777, the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online here.

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Category: Crime

Comments (44)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Give Foots the foot!!!




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  2. Anonymous says:

    If you an artist and want to create offensive ‘art’ do so in your own house and in your back garden where it is not visible to the public. Anything in public view and which is offensive to those that are religious should be against the law. There are limits to freedom of expression. If you like your art, you appreciate it all by your lonesome self. You should not offend others.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This is some double standard you’re preaching here unless, hopefully, it is addressing the mass amount of churches that have a half naked man exposed on a cross as well. The only crime perpetrated here is the destruction of property and art.

      You don’t see angry Muslims or Atheists here tearing down crosses of Jesus. They have more sense than these Christian extremists.




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      • Anonymous says:

        No, they prefer to Murder anyone who has the ‘nerve’ to draw a cartoon image of their non-prophet Muhammad…




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  3. Anonymous says:

    There is a place for people who can’t control themselves, prison or mental health.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    This is the Cayman islands. You must expect Caymanian attitude and ignorance. Especially in the sister islands. Look at what is voted in as leadership. The culture is built on ignorance and distrust.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman, you are so screwed up! A high GDP in a country with a 3rd world mentality.
    The islands ancestors sold your future years ago…get over it and grow up already.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Small minded ignorant bigots these people need to grow up




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  7. Anonymous says:

    I do not condone people destroying other people’s property, but Mr. Kynes I suggest you refrain from talking about selling your soul in hell. The devil is watching and is glad to get any soul he can get especially those offered up so freely.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    What does the pious Hon. Julianna have to say about this? She has been foot’s benefactor for many years!




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  9. BracFan says:

    So the charge is corrupting public morals. OK, then we need to see what the public morals are on the Brac. Unfortunately, here’s Exhibit 1: https://www.braccanal.com/braccanal-videos-highlights.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    People who come here really need to respect the conventions of the countries they come into, whether it is the arts, or other topics that are abhorrent to us.

    In the JA Gleaner a recent article actually said ” One does not have the right to defame another, although he has the freedom to do so”. Likewise,”Despite the speed at which human evolution is being engineered by technology, the human gastrointestinal system, ending at the rectum and sphincter muscles, was never designed by an uncreative and unimaginative God (if you believe in them) for two-way traffic like the retrofitted Mandela Highway”. See : http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20170806/orville-taylor-bains-buggery-battle-bottoms-out

    Such are the views of our regional neighbours which are indentical to that of the Cayman Islands about homosexually. In general, Caymanians are well known to be respectful of other cultures whenever they relocate, so why is that respect is only in one direction when others choose to come to our homeland.

    It is plain and simple that respect begets respect.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    I really hope they catch these offenders and that they get a custodial sentence. This is ridiculous having your personal property destroyed.




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  12. Rodney Barnett IV says:

    12:25 suggests we go to any big city to see all types of statue, paintings, advertising billboards. Why do that? All you need to do is turn on your internet connected TV to see all of the sexual images you want. Many with couples “in bead together” and not just reading the current best selling novel. With advertisers spouting the benefits of “personal” creams and lotions to make you special times more enjoyable, I dough there is little left to viewer’s imaginations. Shame on the bigots who want to shut down free expression.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is not America. “Free expression”. PLEASE.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No one is stopping you from looking at whatever you want to on your internet, but no one should be bombarded with illicit pictures, or sculptures on the side of the road. Free expressions comes with responsibilities. Not bigots just decent persons who still want to live in a decent and mindful environment. What is wrong with that ? Because all sorts of things can be viewed on the internet does not mean that we should throw all caution to the wind. Mr. Foot should also respect us and our way of life. So tired of people coming to live among us knowing that there are certain things we do not tolerate and embrace but they still feel like they will come and force us to change to accommodate them. Maybe they should move with their agenda to some place else. This little 2 x 4 rock cannot accommodate all kinds and every kind. Those who want to work hand in hand with us to move Cayman forward as a lovely decent little gem in the Caribbean are welcome to join us, those whose only ambition is to turn us into whatever it is they left behind should leave and take their sympathers with them.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Driftwood




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Intriguing, I wonder, in light of recent events, whether a large phallus sculpture would create such a problem. I suspect not. Unless it was a gay phallus. Then lots of problems.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I actually think a woman performing oral sex on a man, instead of a woman performing oral sex on a woman, would have looked much more obscene in this style. But either is probably a little much for public display.




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  15. Hap Less says:

    The irony is that the Brac is a hotbed of booze and sex with most of the population availing themselves of both at every opportunity. “Hospitality Workers” on Work Permits is the business model. In other lands it is called prostitution or sex slavery.

    But Foot’s efforts can best be described as total crap. The “artist” clearly never progressed beyond school boy interpretations of seventies rock album cover art.

    His objective is to stir up controversy of course, and everyone is playing into that as well as he could have hoped for.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Foots artwork is spectacular. I am not much of an art fan, but this stood out to me and I enjoy it for what it is, art.

      We live in a world that denies plants beauty and artists their expression. It’s sad and pathetic for people to stoop so low, in the end I bet Foots is having the last laugh at you morons for being so triggered.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    “Art”, my a$$.

    Please.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    That statues is not obscene, its sexy.




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  18. Benjy says:

    Accomplished by “the religious right”? 🙂

    My first name is David. Ever seem the famous statue with the same name? Some Brackers would try to ban that too!




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Ah Caymankind, if you don’t like it, beat it up or smash it. Certain elements are stuck in the 15th century, and believe themselves to be so pure. Go to any large country today and you will see paintings, sculptures, photos, you name it covering virtually every sexual theme you can think of, some in National Galleries. You may not like it, but it does not give you the right to destroy it. If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out!




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    • Nunya says:

      Who came up with the catch phrase “Caymankind?” Growing up here, I don’t ever recall that being a term used by locals. Was that a marketing tool developed in the last several years?




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    • Anonymous says:

      What is the name of the big city that is the subject of this article again?




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  20. Anonymous says:

    That’s the statue they’re getting so worked up about???? I hope he sues when they decide not to charge him. What a disgrace.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah let’s continue the suing mentality in this country, then talk about how expensive it is to live here. Ever think about the trickle down effect and where Gov’t gets that money to pay ppl that sue them?




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  21. Jotnar says:

    Thanks CNS for publishing the photo so we can see what the fuss is about. Of course, if RCIPS consider that statue obscene they should be charging you as well as Foots for publishing it. Of course takes a little more intestinal fortitude to censor the press than to persecute a single artist on the Brac because your buddies are outraged.




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Good Job! The ignorant bigots calling attention to the artwork have done more for the artist than they can imagine. Not only pictured in this paper, I am sure the statue will be printed in news releases around the world.

    Apparently the “neighbors” who are shocked by this work have very little to do, very large imaginations, and a good pair of binoculars. Get a life.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Allowing freedom of speech and expression has never been Cayman’s strong suit. Any attempts to suppress the arts here will put us in the same boat as China and the like.

    More power and inspiration to you Foots!




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  24. Anonymous says:

    CNS, have you seen the alleged offending art? Why not publish a picture and then you can test the archaic law yourselves.




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  25. Anonymous says:

    I want a lesbian statue for my front doorstep. Foots, do you ship to Grand?




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