Today, officers from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles walked into Mark Moore Gallery and confiscated one of my recent pieces; "Improvised Shotgun: White."

art seized by the BATFE
The officers also requested the current location and bills of lading of recently shipped work of a similar nature. I assume they plan to seize these works as well. The receipt for the initial seizure is shown below.

BATFE seizes Improvised Shotgun:White, 11/18/10As of this posting, I have not received any official complaint, cease & desist, nor notice of any kind from the BATFE. Likewise, they've made no requests pending on other pieces in my growing body of RECESS work.

I assume that the actions of the BATFE are a misguided attempt to develop evidence against me for alleged crimes they believe I have committed.

As I have made clear on this blog, other internet sites, and through my demonstrated exhibition record and career - I am an conceptual artist. My highly public and often controversial works have at time created both challenging and meaningful public discourse. This is the nature of my purpose.

The seizure of my works is a seizure of my voice, and a terrible injustice. I believe the actions of the BATFE today are a violation of my first amendment rights, and an act of overt theft. I am saddened and deeply disgusted that in the midst of this terrible recession, Federal tax dollars are being spent to stifle my rights, seize my work, and question my patriotism.

Everything you can learn about me is here. It is in the combined effort of my labor and the illustration of my ideas. My works are my words, my passions, and my livelihood. Draw your own conclusions and pass this along if you refuse to believe in an America where questioning culture is a crime.

*Update* as of 1/27/11 the BAFTE has taken no formal action against me, nor have they returned my sculptures.

Whereas I personally feel this investigation is a shameful waste of federal funds, an obvious positive outcome is evidenced in the number of blog and forum posts spawned by this initial posting. I've said my piece on the issue, and I am glad to see others doing the same. Questioning, researching and debating the laws we are forced to live by is, in my opinion, the very essence of a democratic state.