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Homeless man becomes art object

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19 -- A British artist is visiting San Francisco Sunday with a homeless man he has turned into a work of art. Artist Tony Kaye and Roger Powell spent Saturday in front of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where Powell sat on display inside a steel-framed box.

As a work of art, 'Roger either just sits or he walks around, takes notes and is very friendly,' Kaye said told a San Francisco newspaper in a report published Sunday. 'He's also pleased to answer anyone's questions about what it's like being homeless.' Kaye's exhibit, called 'Roger -- Tony Kaye,' has also been on display at the Tate and Saatchi galleries in London and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Kaye said he came up with the idea to call attention to the international problem of homelessness. If the price is right, Kaye may sell Powell to an art collector. Powell has signed a contract agreeing be sold. 'I know that Tony wouldn't sell me unless he knew I had a good home, ' Powell told the newspaper. In a city where police routinely rouse homeless people from their spots on the sidewalk and threaten citations for vagrants, Powell's visit to the museum's sidewalk was exceptionally uneventful. Passersby peppered Powell and Kaye with questions, but not a single police officer told him to move along or face the law. Neither man -- artist nor art object -- could be reached for comment Sunday at a downtown hotel where they were staying. Powell had said Saturday he intended to take advantage of his all-expenses-paid tour and squeeze in a little vacationing Sunday.

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