Dr. Gary Rappaport's Tooth and Brushes
Artist: Gary Rappaport
Date of Action: September 1985
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: New Haven Zoning Enforcement
Description of Artwork: Gary Rappaport, a dentist in New Haven, Connecticut, built a sculpture consisting of a lower first molar, approximately four feet high, and three metal tooth brushes with wire bristles. Rappaport secured the sculpture into the lawn in front of his dentist office in New Haven.
The Incident: A New Haven Zoning Enforcement Officer decided that the sculpture can be classified as a "sign", and thus demanded its removal (on the grounds that it exceeded the maximum permissible size of a sign). The Chief of Current Planning and Zoning in New Haven wrote an advisory report affirming the inspector's decision.
Results of Incident: The Board of Zoning Appeals heard an appeal from Dr. Rappaport, but ultimately supported the original charges placed on the sculpture. A unanimous vote confirmed that the sculpture's classification as a sign, and thus, that the sculpture had to be removed from its location on the office's front lawn.