But Is It Art? Hamptons Police Decide if Studio Output Makes the Cut

Is it art? Police get to decide
Is it art? Hamptons police get to decide, Photo: ljupco, ammentorp/123RF

Hamptons officials recently issued a warning to residents who have so-called “artist studios” on their properties.

According to law, these structures are permitted as long as they are not habitable spaces and as long as they are used for the production of art. Going forward, Hamptons Police are authorized to inspect these studios regularly in order to confirm that they aren’t inhabited and that art is being produced in them.

“And we’re not talking finger painting, either,” remarked Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch. “Our Art Inspection Unit is going to be looking very carefully at canvases and sculpture to determine the viability of the art being produced. If we decide what we’re seeing doesn’t qualify as art, there’s a problem.”

When challenged on his department’s ability to make such determinations, Hirsch was dismissive. “Look, if your stuff’s kitschy or derivative, it will be reflected in our report. If you can’t do better, you might want to look into becoming an accountant, Okay?”

A list of actual art hallmarks or defining factors has yet to be released and the Art Inspection Unit is, at this time, the region’s final word and arbiter of what, exactly, is art.

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

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