Jerry Vile paintings "mysteriously" appear in New York Detroit-themed exhibits

Amid the relaunch of our new website, we forgot to mention that somebody apparently snuck two very tiny paintings by Detroit artist Jerry Vile into "Another Look at Detroit," an exhibition currently being held simultaneously in two galleries in Chelsea, New York. The high-profile exhibit was curated by Todd Levin and features art from a diversity of Detroit artists, such as Niagara, Mike Kelley, Bill Rauhauser, Gilda Snowden, and many others ... except for Jerry Vile, that is. 

Vile must have felt snubbed — and somehow secretly installed two of his paintings along the wall. Frequent Vile co-conspirator Rick Manore posted the following on his Facebook, tagging Levin:

Wow, someone just sent me a shot from the Todd Levin curated double feature, "Another Look at Detroit Parts 1 & 2" from the Marlborough Chelsea Gallery — and I'll be damned, I didn't know that Detroit's most beloved artist, Jerry Vile was generously represented both here, and at the Boesky Gallery too! (No not the Rivera portrait of Edsel Ford — the overwhelming piece to it's left.) Now that's what I call placement!

According to Manore, Levin didn't appreciate the mention, and untagged himself from the post within minutes. Vile also neither confirms nor denies his involvement in the prank, but he left a comment on the post admitting that he attended the show in New York, but said "I didn't notice I had work in it." He also said he "[didn't] recall the pieces from anywhere" and that "these could have been painted by my assistants, and the signature sure looks authentic."

Hmmm. Sure, Jerry.

It certainly wouldn't be an unprecedented move for the artist. Previously, Vile has made headlines for sticking 100 plastic lawn flamingos painted as vultures on the DIA's lawn, putting price tags on public art around the city, putting a giant can of Crisco in front of the Joe Louis fist, and even taking out an ad in Metro Times announcing a "liquidation sale" on all city assets. 

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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