Derek Alan Modrok, a 49-year-old Florida resident, admitted to operating his automotive right into a tall, blue sculpture of a rabbit titled Thunderbunny by American artist Hunt Slonem, police said earlier this week. The sculpture, which has an estimated worth of $300,000, resided in Justin Flippen Park within the metropolis of Wilton Manors, simply north of Fort Lauderdale.
Modrok additionally admitted to vandalized one other piece of artwork, a popsicle statue by Craig Berube-Grey at close by Rachel Richardson Park, earlier this month. Police arrested Modrok after surveillance footage depicted him within the act.
Slonem, for his half, first heard concerning the act of vandalism when NBC Miami reached out to him for a quote, and since then he’s been processing the assault. It’s not the primary time he’s misplaced a bit of public artwork.
“9/11 was worse, I misplaced an 80-foot mural,” Slonem informed ARTnews, considerably mystified that this sort of violence as soon as once more discovered its strategy to his work. “I used to be simply shocked. It’s simply such an odd factor, the truth that it’s occurred earlier than and the truth that it occurred once more.”
Thunderbunny, at 13 feet-7 inches and made from 6,500 items of blue glass, took a 12 months to make and was put in within the park in Might 2022 after native gallery Artwork Gallery 21 labored with the town to mortgage the sculpture from New River Tremendous Artwork in Fort Lauderdale. The sculpture was resulting from journey to a botanical backyard, however these plans have now been stalled. Slonem and the commissioners are reviewing the work to see if repairs are even doable because the work sustained heavy structural injury. Slonem stated it might take a pair extra days to determine what may be executed.
Regardless of the state of censorship of the humanities being undertaken in Florida, evidently Modrok was not motivated by the present political local weather. NBC Miami reported that Modrok informed native police that he had focused the work as a result of the park it resided in was named after Justin Flippen, a former mayor of Wilton Manors who Modrok blamed “for the birds that we hear.” The park was named after Flippen following his sudden dying at 41 resulting from an aneurysm.
“That is actually weird, as a result of I’m a chicken freak,” stated Slonem. “I’ve plenty of pet birds, as much as 100, and this man didn’t just like the mayor due to all of the birds?” It’s unclear if Modrok knew about Slonem’s love of birds or if this was a coincidence.
Modrok has a earlier criminal record, having served three years in Broward County for the sale of cocaine. Modrok was charged with three counts of legal mischief in relation to his latest spate of vandalism.