A Stamford art gallery owner was arrested and charged with a criminal misdemeanor and a felony Friday morning after dropping an 800-pound steel sculpture of a bent, burnt heroin spoon in front of Purdue Pharma, a top manufacturer of opioids, and then refusing to remove it.
…Alvarez said the sculpture and its placement are a statement intended to create a groundswell of outrage against Purdue and the billionaire Sackler family, who are majority owners of the company, which developed OxyContin.
…The interactions between Alvarez and police were cordial. While waiting to issue the summons, the gallerist and the cops chatted amiably about civic matters and the opioid epidemic.
The sculpture, named “Purdue,” was made by Boston-based artist Domenic Esposito, who was present at the time of the sculpture drop. Esposito was not charged or arrested. He said before the art drop that he and Alvarez decided who would take the criminal charges.
Esposito said he was was inspired to create the artwork by his brother’s drug addiction. Esposito said his brother started with OxyContin and Percocet and moved to heroin.