‘Legs’ Run Up Against Criminal Mischief in Sag Harbor

Gavin Menu photo
The Larry Rivers “Legs” were defaced with red paint either late on June 8 or early on June 9, according to a report. Gavin Menu photo

By Christine Sampson

The well-known “Legs” were most likely defaced with red paint by an unknown vandal sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning, according to Stephen Grossman, the attorney who has represented the owners of the 16-foot-tall fiberglass structure in court. Mr. Grossman filed a report with Sag Harbor Village Police on their behalf on Friday.

“Police said they talked to workers across the street, who said they didn’t see anything the night before, and no one would do this sort of thing in the daytime,” Mr. Grossman said by phone on Monday.

According to a police spokesperson, the incident was investigated as criminal mischief on Friday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. Police canvassed the area to see if any nearby property owners had security camera footage that would have aided in finding the culprit, but turned up no leads. It is unclear whether there is still an open investigation into the matter.

“I think it is an outrage. I think whoever did it is sick and should be prosecuted,” Mr. Grossman said.

The “Legs” have made headlines recently after Sag Harbor Village building inspector Tom Preiato issued citations for the structure’s six alleged code violations. Sag Harbor’s “Legs,” created by the late artist Larry Rivers, is a replica of an identical one that once stood at the entrance to his Southampton studio and was originally commissioned as a part of “Forty Feet of Fashion” for Smith Haven Mall. The replica is now owned by Ruth Vered and Janet Lehr, and was installed in 2008 at their house on the corner of Henry and Madison streets. After it was deemed an accessory structure by then building inspector Tim Platt, the zoning board of appeals denied Ms. Vered and Ms. Lehr a variance to keep the sculpture so close to its property line. The gallery owners filed suit but in November 2015, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the village.

“I have a suspicion that it might have been engendered by the recent stories of citations issued,” Mr. Grossman said of the vandalism.