Artist Ronald “Foots” Kynes said his art was vandalized for the eighth time in Cayman Brac on Friday night.
Mr. Kynes said he found two of his cement sculptures, “LGBT” and “Eva in Eve,” smashed against the rocks at his Brac property that he calls “Imagine.” The works, which depict nude women in sexual embraces, have been at the center of public controversy in recent weeks.
Mr. Kynes was arrested July 18 for “obscene publications” after refusing to comply with Royal Cayman Islands Police Service orders to remove the art from public view.
He has not been charged and is on police bail until Sept. 6.
“I got on my bicycle and rode down there [Saturday morning]. When I got there and got out, the statue for ‘LGBT’ was pushed over against the rock and smashed up and destroyed. I’ve got to do a lot of work to try to fix it,” Mr. Kynes said.
“These things weigh more than 3,000 pounds a piece. It took more than one person to do this. ‘Eva in Eve’ was pushed over against the retaining wall I have for my easel, and it was busted and smashed up.”
The artist contacted local police to file a report and shared the names of two residents who he said have recently threatened to destroy and throw paint on his art on social media.
“Today has been rough. It really has been rough. I had an issue with the police. This whole situation is getting out of hand and something has to stop,” Mr. Kynes said.
He listed eight cases, including the weekend’s, in which his art has been smashed, burned and otherwise destroyed in Cayman Brac.
“One time, they put gasoline all over [a sculpture] and tried to set it on fire. The second time, they knocked down the ‘Anti-Christ,’ which was a cross with a goat’s head. The third time, they snatched it down again and [dragged] it down the highway with a piece of rope,” Mr. Kynes said.
“The fourth time, it disappeared and I offered a $5,000 award. Then, the next time, one of my paintings that I put out was ripped down and cut in half. I filed a report on that. I went to the police.
“Then the ‘Rapture,’ they threw paint all over it. Then we go back to ‘Apocalypse Now,’ they threw and sprayed paint all over it. That was the seventh time. This would be the eighth time they’ve done this.”
Mr. Kynes alleges the RCIPS has turned a blind eye to vandalism and harassment directed at his work.
He said a pyramid sculpture, intended for his underwater “Atlantis” installment, was set on fire. Mr. Kynes said police never filed a report of his complaint from the incident.
An RCIPS spokesperson said she was not able to locate information on the complaint but told a journalist Mr. Kynes could return to the Cayman Brac Police Station to search for the file.
In correspondence with Mr. Kynes in October 2014, Chief Inspector Frank Owens said no police report of the Dec. 31, 2009 incident was available but that the fire department had determined the cause of the fire to be “unknown.”
The Cayman Compass was unable to reach anyone at the RCIPS over the weekend to comment on Mr. Kynes’s report of vandalism.
The artist said he last went to his “Imagine” property with a friend Friday afternoon, so he suspected the vandalism occurred that evening.