A statue depicting a demon on Cayman Brac’s South Side has some Brackers concerned that the “devil’s work” has come to their island.
The statue was smashed, vandalized and knocked over Wednesday night, according to sculptor and Brac resident Ron “Foots” Kynes.
Perched on top of a rock base that reads “Mephistopheles Throne,” the 10-foot statue is painted in dark red stain, has blood-red eyes and pointed ears, and holds a pitchfork and skull.
“It is the devil with a skeleton head resting in its crotch and something to do with some German or Russian story written at the base,” said Elvis McKeever, who lives next door to Mr. Kynes. He said he was offended by the sculpture. “It is not artwork, it is vindictiveness. It is devil-worshipping. He has built the devil with his wings, his fork and skeleton head. He burned the first one down, now he’s building another one of the ugly looking things again.”
Mr. Kynes’s previous sculpture, a goat’s head on a crucifix with the number 666 on it, also drew criticism from Brac residents after he created it more than a year ago. The controversial sculpture went up in smoke in March after Mr. Kynes set it alight.
At that time, residents said they did not appreciate the artistic works, calling the items disrespectful to the Christian community. Some demanded that the government intervene.
Brac Commissioner Ernie Scott said the situation has come to his attention a number of times and he had discussed it with the relevant people in government and the police.
Local police said they asked government lawyers if there was any way to have the statue removed, but were told to “let it be.”
Mr. Scott said most people on the island remain upset about Mr. Kynes’s choice of art. He also said the artist’s work had gotten more offensive in the last year or so, in the view of local residents.
Mr. Kynes said no one had complained about the statue, other than Mr. McKeever.
“The new sculpture is a representation of German folklore and it’s how I view the darkness in today’s world,” said Mr. Kynes. “It is a depiction of Faust. Faust sold his soul to the devil in an ancient German legend. He was not satisfied with his life and he sold his soul for power, riches and fame. And that is not a good thing.”
Mr. Kynes said this sculpture is separate from the original “Apocalypse Now” sculpture, and that he is now working to complete the final stage of a planned triptych.
He said he called the police about the vandalism of the sculpture. The officers took pictures and said they would get back in contact.
“I spent a great deal of time sculpturing and molding that piece, which I worked on all Thursday morning to put back together,” Mr. Kynes said.
For those not happy with the artwork, Mr. Kynes said tourists love it, and it has become a big photo opportunity with them. “Literally, I have hundreds of people in the yard. Tourists come by to look at the art around the yard, which is somewhat like a gallery inside and out. It is quite a tourist attraction.”
He said tour operators bring visitors through by the busload when the cruise ships are in port. “I do not sell or charge anything. I am 60-something and [have] never sold a piece of artwork.”
Police Superintendent Adrian Seales said police officers on Cayman Brac are looking into the circumstances of the reported vandalism.