Last June, an art student, Uriel Landeros, was caught on video vandalizing a Picasso painting, Woman in a Red Armchair, at the Menil Collection in Texas. Following his attempts to escape to Mexico, Landeros was caught and charged with criminal mischief. Ultimately, he plead guilty to graffiti charges. On May 21, 2013, he was sentenced to two years in prison, down from the ten years sought by the prosecutors.

As part of his Picasso ‘improvements,’ Landeros wrote ‘conquista’ and drew a bull and a bullfighter on the 1929 portrait. The video of Landeros’ actions appeared on YouTube(see above), and subsequently, Landeros’ posted a YouTube video of his own explaining his actions. He admitted to defacing the work but explained that he knew that his actions would leave no permanent damage to the painting. Instead, he wished to bring attention to the wrongs of our society. “My intention was never to destroy Pablo’s painting or to insult the Menil. If I would have wanted to destroy the painting, I would have ripped it with a knife or burnt it.

Attorney representing Landeros is Emily Detoto.

Source: The Art Newspaper.