Art Imitates Death

The gallery was a makeshift affair on a desolate lower west side block; the enormous paintings had been craned in through the loft building’s half demolished roof and no provisions had been made for their subsequent removal after roof repairs were hastily completed and the interior prepped for the opening. The paintings were effectively entombed.
The artist’s will had stipulated the works for display, all with prices so obscene that their purchase and need for removal was remote anyway. But the will also landed a upon the noted promoter a sum commensurate with his formidable guest list.
Gallery opening prior to evacuation and destruction
The opening announcement’s absurd scheduled seance attracted a crowd of young trust fund goths but less predictable were small groups of outlaw bikers, glitterati and inscrutable Silicon Alley billionaire types who smirked their respective amusement when the cheesy occult proceedings were busted by an obviously staged raid.
Then the whole cast was suddenly busted by what appeared to be an actual raid by NYPD undercover cops, simultaneous with urgent demands to immediately evacuate the premises. Doubtful stragglers were caught desperately racing for exits when the place shuddered with the first explosions.
Only when the adjacent building’s wall collapsed onto it in a grim cloud of dust did the gallery’s last lights fade on its huge doomed canvases.
The stunned crowd was ordered back and cordoned off, eventually dispersing into the night, away from the flashing emergency lights and sirens.
No one later interviewed had any recollection of the artist’s name or cause of death. No paintings were reported sold.
The promoter, following legal machinations and fines was besieged by pleas for representation, predominantly by a new wave of suicidal deconstructionists.

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