Archive for censorship

Please sign the petition at Ciel Plaza to save Duran’s Fork!

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by Do Bianchi

fourchette1We have launched a petition to save the Gilbert Duran Fork sculpture and put an end to censorship at Ciel Plaza: please visit us at 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 481-7001‎, and ask for managers Sunny or Jordan to sign the petition. We’d like to thank everyone for their continued support. Even if you don’t read French, have a look at the Wiki page for French artist Arman and his 1992 fork sculpture in Roanne, France, “Les Gourmandes: Des fourchettes empilées.”

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Tanji Patton speaks out on Duran Fork censorship

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel, Press with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by Do Bianchi

tanji_pattonSan Antonio authority on everything food and wine, Tanji Patton, spoke her mind to the San Antonio News-Express on recent censorship of the Duran Fork sculpture at Ciel Plaza… Thank you Tanji!

Could the ongoing saga of the fork, the ugly wall and the angry homeowners association get any more bizarre!
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Apparently….YES. Well known San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran tells me he’s filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union alleging his right to freedom of expression and the rights of the homeowners are being trampled by the Stone Oak Homeowners Association. This gets really interesting – colorful civil rights attorney Gerry Goldstein has been contacted by the restaurant owner/chef to enter the fracas.

You’ve heard the story–culinary artist/chef Damien Watel commissions well known San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran to create a sculpture in front of his new restaurants Ciel and Ciao 2 on Stone Oak Parkway. The Stone Oak Home Owners Association cries foul, and now a 14 foot tall eyesore-of-a-wall covers the artist’s creation.

Wow…what a mess! I don’t live in Stone Oak, so I can’t say how I’d feel as a neighbor, but let’s look at the big picture. Damiel Watel is an incredibly well respected chef and restaurant operator who most landlords and neighborhoods would welcome with open arms.

A successful business creates energy and often opens the door for more successful businesses where it locates. Then, there’s the revenue generated with property taxes, sales taxes…etc. A good business is good for business!

To please the HOA, Watel doled out about $8,000 to erect the wall to cover the sculpture. Yet, nobody appears to be happy here.

My sympathies, so far, lie with Damien…unless someone can convince me otherwise. In fact, I think I’ll have dinner there this weekend.

Message from Damien to our supporters

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel, Press with tags , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by Do Bianchi

Thanks to all the supporters. The Fork was always meant to be art. Art it is and I hope we get to the artistic business of cooking soon and forget the silly fork battle. Even though the attention gets to be a bit much, publicity is one thing positive for the artwork itself and public awareness about DURAN the artist. It is validation for the rest of us for encouraging such creations. Let’s hope our (whole) city gets more and more public art.


Thanks to all.

—Damien Watel

San Antonio Express-News asks does Damien Watel have “A taste for more trouble?”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by Do Bianchi

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carla_forkMay 31, 2009

By Jennifer Hiller – Express-News

(Photo by SO’R International)

Stone Oak’s rotund, curvy fork sculpture is now concealed behind a stucco wall approved by a property owners group. But Saturday, the wall was covered with artwork that could lead to another flap with the Stone Oak Property Owners Association.

The wall had represented a compromise between the association and the Vatel Restaurant Group, which this year installed the 14-foot sculpture outside new French restaurant Ciel, Italian restaurant Ciao2 and the Green Lantern bar on Stone Oak Parkway.

Chef and restaurant owner Damien Watel developed the property, called Plaza Ciel, and commissioned San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran to design the sculpture.

The problem was that Watel considered the fork to be art, while the property owners association saw it as a giant unapproved sign. Stone Oak regulations specify that improvements — including sidewalks, fencing, new buildings — require preapproval, which Watel did not have.

Click here to read more…

Damien Vatel unveils wall veiling Duran Fork Sculpture at Ciel Plaza

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by Do Bianchi

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“It’s a really depressing day,” noted Vatel Restaurant Family publicist Cristine Vasquez, president of SO’R International PR, as Damien Watel put the final touches on the wall that veils the Gilbert Duran Fork Sculpture at Ciel Plaza today.

Journalists, patrons, and fans gathered to watch on as Damien — owner, chef, and developer of Ciel Plaza on Stone Oak Parkway in north San Antonio (above) — inaugurated the wall which blocks view of the work of art from Stone Oak Parkway. Damien commissioned the sculpture after opening Ciel Plaza, which features his two newest restaurants, Ciel and Ciao 2.

Damien was forced to construct the wall by the Stone Oak Property Owners Association who has claimed that the fork was in violation of zoning laws, calling it advertising instead of a work of art.

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The wall (above) was completed a few days ago and was painted today by construction workers before Damien added the final touch: a red silhouette of the fork, reminiscent, he noted, of a devil’s pitchfork.

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Onlookers were treated to mimosas and croissants from Bistro Vatel Bakery, which helped to soothe the pain at watching a great work of art be censored.

Photos courtesy Mosaic Wine Group.

Another Brick in the Wall

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel with tags , , , , on May 28, 2009 by Do Bianchi

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The censorship wall around the Duran Fork sculpture has been completed at at Ciel Plaza on Stone Oak Parkway. Please join us on Saturday at noon for its official unveiling and unveiling party at Ciel.

Saturday, May 30
12 p.m.
Ciel Plaza
20626 Stone Oak Pkwy
San Antonio, TX‎
(210) 481-7001‎

Damien Watel on censorship of the Duran Fork

Posted in Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel, Press with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Do Bianchi

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Owner of Ciel and Ciao 2 and developer of Ciel Plaza on Stone Oak Parkway speaks to Kens 5 News about the Stone Oak Property Owners Association’s censorship of the Duran Fork sculpture and the wall he has been forced to construct to block its view from the street. Click the image above to watch the report.

Photo courtesy Mosaic Wine Group.