Home News ‘Cheese wall’ art installation at US-Mexico border ruined by contractors: suit

‘Cheese wall’ art installation at US-Mexico border ruined by contractors: suit



This artist is pretty cheesed off at the feds.

Cosimo Cavallaro, a Canadian-Italian artist in the process of constructing a border wall at the US/Mexican frontier out of bricks of Mexican Cotija, is suing a federal contractor for allegedly destroying his art installation.

He began painstakingly building “Cheese Wall” at the end of 2018 as a protest of President Trump’s billion-dollar partition at the border with Mexico, according to court papers filed in San Diego federal court this month.

Cavallaro, 59, is well known for his work with “perishable materials.” He has made a life-sized sculpture of Jesus out of chocolate, covered supermodel Twiggy in cheese, and coated a hotel room on the Upper West Side in 1,000 pounds of the melted stuff in 1999.

“You see the waste in my wall, but you can’t see the waste in [President Trump’s] $10 billion wall, which in time will be removed,” said the artist, according to court papers.

Los Angeles-based Cavallaro and co-plaintiff Art Above Ground, a non-profit, are suing SLSCO Ltd., a Texas-based construction company, and a subsidiary. They accuse the company, which is helping to build the border wall, of “willfully” trespassing on the site of his art installation and burying the cheese structure with bulldozers.

Cavallaro, who is seeking unspecified damages, claims he had already assembled some 400 blocks of cheese to build a 6-foot high, 3-foot wide and 70-foot long barrier. It’s in southeastern San Diego County on a 14-acre plot of private land that Art Above Ground rented 10 yards from the real wall. The artist was in the process of raising funds in order to extend the structure for 1,000 feet, the complaint says.

Cotija, which Cavallaro made and salted himself, is a hard cheese. Rather than melt, each 50-pound brick in Cavallaro’s wall became further hardened and turned brown as it was exposed to the elements, producing an oxidization effect similar to copper, according to the complaint.

“The destruction of the Cheese Wall has caused great distress to Cavallaro,” court papers say. “His artistic vision has been left unfulfilled. Cavallaro has been deprived of the opportunity to communicate his artistic message… a message he has spent years contemplating.”

A lawyer representing Cavallaro did not return The Post’s requests for comment, nor did SLSCO.

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