Art-lover’s haven

Aug 21, 2002 at 12:00 am

You may recall the day a few years back when the city of Detroit’s bulldozers launched an attack upon significant portions of Tyree Guyton’s world-renowned Heidelberg Project. But not all the splendid artwork thereabouts fell victim. This week’s abandoned house is testimony to that. This dilapidated and burned structure, located just one block west of Detroit’s most famous outdoor artistic community, was somehow overlooked by the city’s art liquidators. A neighbor says the house is a haven for unsavory characters (the Abandoned Shelter Squad (ASS) was confronted by two of them upon exiting the house) who defy attempts to board up the property and return nightly. Glass, nails, and a number of other dangerous objects that once held the house together litter the sidewalk and street. Precariously balanced chimneys seem ready to topple with the next strong breeze. Not to be outdone by their artistic neighbor, former residents expressed themselves on the living room walls by painting lewd portraits of attractive Asian women performing various sex acts upon a joint-smoking afro’d African-American male. Unlike much of the Heidelberg Project, however, the city has decided to preserve these creative expressions for future generations. Owner Clarence D. Johnson of Detroit did not respond to a request seeking his comments. Perhaps he prefers to maintain his status as Detroit’s least wanted underground art purveyor.

Adam Stanfel is an editorial intern at Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]