Art Basel protester arrested for whipping out fake dong has year’s best mugshot

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kalan sherrard subway performer

Screengrab via No Your City/YouTube

Meet 27-year-old Kalan Sherrard, artist, street performer, and cop-troller extraordinaire.

A prosthetic penis is only the second-weirdest thing someone pulled out of his pants at Miami’s Art Basel festival this week. 

A few days ago, Usher was spotted at the festival charging his iPhone in a lady’s vagina. The art world is crazy! But let me introduce you to Kalan Sherrard, a 27-year-old performance artist who was recently charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest at a protest outside Art Basel. 

Sherrard was arrested for “extract[ing] a fake penis from his pants.” But the ludicrousness of the charges pales in comparison to the awesomeness of his mugshot, via Miami-Dade Corrections:

Miami Dade Corrections via Miami Herald

Taking a good mugshot is an art, not a science, but there are a few people who have mastered it so far. There’s Jeremy Weeks, aka the “Fine Felon,” as well as his XX-chromosomed counterpart Alysa Suguro Bathrick (who I guess is the Fine Female Felon? Fine Feloness?). But Sherrard is our new favorite #PrisonBae, for good reason. 

According to the Miami Herald, Sherrard was one of 30 or so activists protesting the annual convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Police reported that Sherrard and his friend, 20-year-old Maria Valenzuela, were screaming “Fuck Art Basel, fuck all you rich people.”

When police tried to escort them out of the building, Sherrard “placed his right hand down his pants toward his privates” and wagged a “prosthetic penis sex toy” at the arresting officer.

Full disclosure: Sherrard went to my alma mater. We were in the same dining co-op. Over the phone, he told the Daily Dot that the purpose of the protest was to take a stand against the institutional privilege of those attending the international art show, which attracts wealthy art collectors from all over the world.

“Art can be this one last bastion of elevation and liberation from the kinds of oppression that are laid out in our society,” he said. “To see art dominated and colonized and privatized by the very people who are standing at the backs of poor and oppressed people everywhere is a pretty ironic tragedy.”

When asked about the significance of the sex toy, Sherrard demurred, but hinted that it was a commentary on “phallogocentric civilization.” He also emphasized the “racist white privilege” element of his arrest, citing last year’s police killing of Miami Beach graffiti artist Israel Hernandez, as an example of what would’ve happened had he been a person of color.

“The police described the incident as my going for an ‘unknown object’ in my pants, which turned out to be a prosthetic penis,” Sherrard told the Daily Dot. “It’s very obvious that had I been a darker-colored person, I would’ve been shot. It really highlights the issue of how the police treat different-colored people.”

This is not the first time Sherrard has made headlines for his brushes with law enforcement. Earlier this year, Sherrard was arrested for staging a “non-narrative nihilist anarchist puppet show about literary theory” in the New York City subway system, and was profiled for an episode of the webseries No Your City. And in 2009, Sherrard was arrested for prancing in a cow costume during a G20 summit, footage of which was featured on The Daily Show.

Sherrard’s street actions stem all the way back to college—junior year, his final art project involved vomiting canned beets in front of the campus library—and they’ve been met with a melange of praise, befuddlement, and, more often than not, outright derision. (When The Daily Show ran footage of Sherrard protesting, Stewart called him “violently rhythmic” and a “jackass.”)

But regardless of whether you think wagging a fake dick at law enforcement is a commentary on our racist phallogocentric civilization, or an invalid form of political dissent, one thing is certainly clear: Sherrard’s mugshot game is on point, and the Fine Felon better watch his back.

H/T Miami Herald |  Screengrab via No Your City/YouTube

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Usher went to Art Basel and charged his phone in a lady’s vagina
She reminded him of an iPhone charger he once knew.
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