Barrel Monster Artist Sentenced
by Shirley Min
July 21, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. – It wasn’t a political statement about ongoing construction on Hillsborough Street.
It was just some art that was meant to make people smile.
That’s what “Barrel Monster” creator Joseph Carnevale said Tuesday after appearing in a Wake County courtroom on misdemeanor larceny and destruction of property charges.
Watch the video:
Carnevale was arrested June 10 after reassembling construction barrels into a 10-foot monster.
A judge ordered the NC State student to 50 hours of community service for stealing barrels owned by Hamlet Construction, and turning them into a hitchhiking creation back in May.
“I don’t know if it was a slow night, but still if a cop pulls up, and even when somebody’s not complaining, if the owner of the property admits that somebody did it without permission, police still feel an obligation to start a case for it,” said Carnevale.
Carnevale admits what he did was illegal, but still can’t believe his “Barrel Monster,” that was meant to be part prank, part art, led to all of this.
“What I do with all my art is just try to make something funny that people laugh at,” said Carnevale.
Carnevale intends to help out the non-profit Habitat for Humanity.
Despite the trouble, the artist says he’s proud of his work — both legal and illegal.
Carnevale must complete his hours by Oct. 30 when he’s due back in court, at which time, all charges could be dismissed.
Meanwhile, Carnevale says instead of restitution, the construction company he stole from wants the “Barrel Monster” back to use for advertising and publicity purposes.
Community and online fans brought national support to drop the charges against Carnevale. He said a Facebook “fan” page in favor of the barrel monster was set up by supporters and friends.
Raleigh police dismantled the barrel monster shortly after discovering it.