According to Artnet Magazine and ArtDaily, Angel Ortiz, a graffiti artist who’s works were featured this April at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, was unable to attend the exhibition opening because he was sent to Rikers Island Jail in New York for spray paining buildings in downtown Manhattan.
Ortiz confessed to the police “I went out to walk my dog, I brought a can with me — I shouldn’t have done it, I knew sooner or later I was going to get grabbed.” He plead guilty to criminal mischief in the fourth degree and was sentenced to 45 days in prison.
Ortiz is represented by Heidi Follin, gallery not law firm. According to Follin, Ortiz’s canvas work sells for thousands of dollars. But it was his reputation as a street artist that earned him the invitation to the MOCA exhibition. Ortiz is not the only one of the artists at the show with a rep sheet, another artist, Jason Williams was sentenced to 180 days in jail for violating his probation following an arrest and conviction for vandalism previously. Its hard to express yourself when everybody is watching.