Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Pablo Picasso's painting "Woman in a Red Armchair" (1929) in The Menil Collection, Houston, was defaced by a man who stenciled an image of a bullfighter killing a bull and the word "Conquista" using a spray.
The unexpected act that occurred on the 13th of this month at around 3 P.M., was caught on surveillance cameras and by a visitor using a smartphone's camera, who subsequently posted on YouTube.
With the spray paint barely dry, the paint was immediately taken to the museum's conservation lab, where its repair started under the supervision of chief conservator Brad Epley. The prognosis for the recovery of the artwork seems to be quite positive.
The witness who filmed the perpretator using a phone camera, told in an interview for the KPRC (Channel 2) that the man (presumed to be Uriel Landeros) identified himself as an industrious Mexican-American artist looking to honour Picasso's work.
Authorities in charge of the investigation are still looking for the vandal. Any relevant information should be reported to (+001) 713-308-0900.
"Woman in a Red Armchair" was acquired in 1956 by John and Dominique de Menil, and is one of nine Picasso paintings owned by the museum. The Menil Collection also possesses 14 drawings, a terra-cotta sculpture and over 100 prints by Picasso.