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What Our Readers Think: 'Legs' Brought to a Heel

Controversial sculpture in Sag Harbor denied permission to stay displayed on side of Madison Street home.

"Legs," a 16-foot tall sculpture by the late artist Larry Rivers, has been from Ruth Vered and Janet Lehr's Madison Street home by Sept. 15, according to , and Patch readers had a lot to say about the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals' move.

Some will not miss the legs:

said, "I'll be glad to see the legs gone, and the issue closed. Nothing against Ruth & Janet, but those legs are really ugly."

said, "Glad to see them go."

Others cracked jokes:

quipped, "These legs are made for walking...."

While others disagreed with the ZBA's decision and lamented the loss of "Legs" (Though it must be noted that Vered says the fight isn't over):

said, "The legs have been determined to be a structure that needed to comply with building code rather than a work of art by a widely respected artist. It's a pity. I find them rather whimsical"

Via Southampton Patch's Facebook page:

  • Amy said, "This is ridiculous."
  • Karin said, "Booo!!!!"
  • Tara said, "Another domino falls in Sag Harbor."
  • Jean said, "What a shame! Go Ruth and Janet...fight them"

said, "Congratulations to Sag Harbor for becoming a laughing stock in the art world. Foolish is as foolish does. Now that that is taken care of, what about every other accessory structure in the Village that is not 35 feet from the sidewalk. That would be a lot of home garages and all of the big ugly mailboxs with windmills, whales etc on them."

  • replied, "Who gives a flying duck what the 'art world' thinks...nothing but a bunch of self-important elite fops who think paint drizzled over pipe cleaners with a dash of color is the height of culture."

came to the defence of the ZBA. She said, "Local zoning boards have a difficult job in trying to deal with this type of issue. They rely on their legal counsel to help interpret code, which is often vague, as well as to uphold the community's standards, also not easy! An unusual question like this one is challenging, to say the least! But board members are just regular citizens, trying to represent the community with fairness in their decisions, and they deserve our thanks for their service. It's community service at its best and often a thankless job."

Thomas M Jones April 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM
When art work/sculptures are displayed in a town or city its done within the cofines of a structured environment with a general consensus of all concerned. In this case this was not done. Towns have codes for a reason and this clearly lies within the boudaries of what code enforcement does.
ron johnson April 21, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Legalities aside, 'dem gams are hideous! Poorly conceived and amateurishly constructed. They look like something one would see in a low rent carney. Simply because they were done by Rivers does not automatically make them good or important. I am very glad to see them go. Thank you, Sag Harbor, for not buying into the falsehood that they were sacred pieces of art.
Rudy Hoglund April 22, 2012 at 04:55 AM
My favorite work of Larry Rivers is the drawing he did and exchanged with Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg erased it and that erased drawing hangs in the Museum of Modern Art. the LEGS should be erased! Rudy Hoglund
Joan Raynor April 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM
I lived on the same street as Larry in the Southampton Village. He put the legs on his front lawn.No one complained, they remained there for may years only a few doors south of Town Hall on Little Plains Road. Southampton is more avant garde.
Ross MacKae April 22, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I guess the question for me is this. If the ZBA's only complaint was the spacial distance of the art and that was their total motivation, then I would find no fault with their actions. The problem lies in their motivation and therefore the intent of their actions. The United States Constitutions First Amendment Freedom Speech (which includes all mediums including sculptures) is probably one of the the most beloved of All American's rights (Same amendment protects religious expressions as well, so the people behind the scenes who object to the artists expressions were free to voice their objections, not deprive another of their speech). ANY law which impinges on those rights has to support a governmental interest which is not based on the content of the "expression" presented. (Or at least that is my understanding of my rights) So I have to ask myself again. Was the ZBAs motivation based purely on a technical code violation or was it motivated by a Puritan Ethic being imposed upon a society? Funny things about lawyers, they often advise their clients not as to what is right or wrong supported by the law, rather, whether or not their client's position is defensible in court. In other-words, maybe the zba's advisers merely advised that they could defend the censorship using the zoning as an excuse and the protracted legal action would make themselves wealthy. ... Just a thought.
Charlie van der Horst April 22, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Very disappointed by the Zoning Board decision. This is narrow minded. The board is turning its back on one of the important attractions of our community, namely a vibrant arts environment. Some I like, some I don't but we should remain open to all or we risk turning into a bland, boring copy of a gated community on Hilton Head.
not a farmer April 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
it takes a village to declare an idiot
Nanci e. LaGarenne April 22, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Dose legs, dose legs! Ah, ship 'them to Haight Street in San Fran! They can join the other pair dangling out of a window. People there appreciate art and whimsy. Their knickers aren't bunched up quite as tight. Remember Whimsey's in EH village? Ah, the simpler days... Oh I know, dear, we out here are more what's the word? Um, J Crew-like? Fancy schmancy? Snooty patooty? Full of piss and vinegar? All white walls, floors, and all clean lines? Hah! Yesterday at the speed of light, a most unusual "car" passed me on Town Lane. Was it a jeep? A flying red toy car? It looked to me to be a mini jeep or "smart" car on top of giant tractor trailer tires! What? Wow we got class out here! Whaddayasayin'?! But dose legs gotta go! Too unusual for our heads. Oops, hold on! There goes the neighborhood "rebel" tearing up thd road in his angry truck. Where's Boss Hog when you need him?! Ah, me. Do have an unusual day! I dare you.
Boron April 22, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Precisely because they were done by Rivers, an incestuous pervert is the primary reason they should be taken down and his very name should be stricken from the lexicon. I think his daughter would agree.
Boron April 22, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Drama queen!
Roger Lang April 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM
What the provincial town officials of Sag Harbor failed to understand is that Vered lives for publicity. If they had said nothing, the legs would have long been gone and forgotten. Now they will probably have to spend village money defending themselves in a lawsuit which they have no chance of winning. They were not smart enough to understand that silence can be golden.
Bryan Downey April 22, 2012 at 05:06 PM
This is a democratic country, state, county, township and village. Let the people decide. It makes no difference what they put in the front. Someone somewhere will not like it. But just because a few don't like it or think it appropriate, does not mean it should be taken down or moved elsewhere. Avoid the street if it offends you. Personally I tell out of towners to go check out the legs. They always raise a smile and camera. If you really want to preserve the historical integrity of this beautiful town, stop ripping down old buildings for renovations and only asking a "few beams" remain from the original building to meat historical guide lines. If anyone touched a historical building in Europe, they get locked up. Stop worrying about the legs and save what is important.
Bryan Downey April 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
What does CD stand for?. If you leave comments like these about Larry or anyone have the decency to let us know who you are. I think accusing people that are not around to defend themselves or prove otherwise is the voice of a coward with huge social interaction disabilities. Don't pass stargazer, there are many options. Don't drive down Henry there are many options. Bryan Downey Sag Harbor.
Springs Advocate April 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
One mans art is another mans eyesore. Art and taste are selective. If not for all the publicity the issue may well have run its course.
Boron April 22, 2012 at 06:44 PM
The legs are trash, just like their creator and current owners.
ron johnson April 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Bingo! You're correct And according to Patch, Vered says the fight isn't over): It's all the publicity.
TheWaterMillian April 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Hear, hear!
Bryan Downey April 23, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I read some of these comments with such abrasive insults as "simpletons, idiots and pervert"! I think it ironic that CD can say what he or she wants to the extreme, yet he or she objects to someone else's opinions. In this case LEGS. We are listening to you, you have the right to say your piece, yet Vered and Larry don't?. I'm confused. Free speech or no free speech?, up or down?, in or out?, yes or no?. Stop slinging insults with a mask on. Let us know who you are so we can debate like intellectuals.
Bryan Downey April 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I read some of these comments with such abrasive insults as "simpletons, idiots and pervert"! I think it ironic that CD can say what he or she wants to the extreme, yet he or she objects to someone else's opinions. In this case LEGS. We are listening to you, you have the right to say your piece, yet Vered and Larry don't?. I'm confused. Free speech or no free speech?, up or down?, in or out?, yes or no?. Stop slinging insults with a mask on. Let us know who you are so we can debate like intellectuals. Please!

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