Scandal Hits Quaint Sag Harbor Over A Pretty Long Set Of ‘Legs’

Battle Over Whether The Structure Is Indeed Art Engulfs Residents, Lawmakers

SAG HARBOR, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The village claims it’s a structure.

The artist claims it’s a sculpture.

A controversy is brewing in the Hamptons … over too much leg. And as CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, the legs may have to take a hike.

It’s flamboyant, irreverent and sassy. Female legs in retro stockings have been stepping out into controversy.

“When an artist does art, it is not a structure; it is a sculpture,” art dealer Ruth Vered said.

“We feel strongly about art in public places, art in residences,” Sag Harbor homeowner Janet Lehr said.

Vered and Lehr own the legs and share the historic 1840s home — a former church — smack in the middle of quaint Sag Harbor’s historic district, where the eye-catching naked legs are on permanent display just blocks from Main Street.

“The legs have become a monument in Sag Harbor. People say turn at the legs,” one resident said.

It stands 16 feet high and is made taller perched on a raised planter.

“If the legs are large it’s in proportion. The ruling was really ridiculous,” Lehr said.

After multiple hearings and debate the village ruled the legs a “structure,” whose size and location are not in compliance with code.

“This is not a decision about art. It’s about setting a precedent for building structures in a very small village on very small lots … about preserving the fabric of the village,” the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals said in a statement.

Sculptor Larry Rivers died in 2002, but not before creating the legs and a whole host of other headline-grabbing works. Many locals here – fishermen, artists and writers — have an opinion.

“How could this hurt anyone other than making the town have a little sense of humor, warmth and humanity? I think it’s crazy to take it down,” resident Christine Bellini said.

“People want a certain look for the town, for the village. It has that quaint whalers feeling to it,” Hope Marxe said.

The village wants the larger-than-life sculpture removed by Sunday. Vered and Lehr want the legs that go on and on to remain up and up, and are hiring a lawyer to continue their battle.

Rivers is buried in a Sag Harbor cemetery. His fans say Rivers would love to know that he still manages to “delight” and “offend,” even from the grave.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Comments

One Comment

  1. KPMc says:

    ““When an artist does art, it is not a structure; it is a sculpture,” art dealer Ruth Vered said.”

    So I guess the Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty and St. Louis arch or all NOT structures?

  2. Georgia/NJ says:

    I feel that it’s a Cool, Unique Sculpture and it should remain up! It would seem to me to be an eye catcher that would draw visitors to see it and remark how interesting it is. The people that want to take it down are nuts!!!

  3. David Joel says:

    Make that… ” longer then that…” It’s a good little story I think and I’m happy to see that CBS is showing interest in this.

  4. David Joel says:

    Hey Sam, your dads list of accomplishments are longer that that and longer than this but let’s not forget Jazz musician/saxophone player, MC at Night clubs, author, TV and lecture circuit personality, actor… or perhaps Life Magazine summed it up best when they showed Larry as the renaissance man he truly was.

  5. NYC person says:

    Cool! I can’t believe it’s a Larry Rivers. It’s quirky but adds charm to a small village. Definitely something that would make me want to come see it.

  6. Rodin says:

    To the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals:

    The Umbrella House, the oldest house in Sag Harbor, dilapidated, is a structure. Do away with it. The Broken Mast Monument, is that a sculpture or a structure?

    Like co-op boards, always minding other people’s business. Promote the legs, a Larry Rivers original as a cultural highlight. Put it to work as an attraction in your Soggy Sagging Harbor. But somebody who has nothing better to do has a bug up their arse. What else?

    Get a life!

    1. mick says:

      RIght on!

  7. TJAMZ says:

    FUNNY IF THE MEDIA WOULD NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF THINGS THERE WOULD OF BEEN ONE LESS SCANDAL ,,AND NO-ONE WOULD EVEN OF KNOWN ABOUT THIS ,, MEDIA IS THE CHEAPEST FREE ADVERTISING OUT THERE JUST HAVE TO BE SMART TO USE IT

  8. Sam D. Rivers says:

    I would like to say, my Father the artist mentioned in this piece was not only a sculptor he was a painter,poet and film maker.

    1. Rodin says:

      A cultural icon to be honored, I may add.

Comments are closed.

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