Depending on who you ask graffiti is either a valid art form or a crime, probably depending on how many pairs of expensive sneakers that person owns. Sometimes, as in the case of Uriel Landeros, a man accused of vandalizing a Picasso on display at the Menil in Houston earlier this summer, it might be a little of both. Landeros, who was allegedly caught on video spray-painting over “Woman In A Red Armchair”, has earned himself a showing at a Houston gallery that is causing a lot of controversy in the art world.
Landeros, who is facing felony graffiti and felony criminal mischief charges is currently on the lam in Mexico.
James Perez, who will host the display of Landeros’ work, says it wasn’t “vandalism, but rather a message promoting revolution and change,” the Houston Chronicle reports.
Not everyone agrees, of course. “‘That’s vandalism,’ said Mitch Cohen, a local artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market on 19th Street. ‘Art is something you create, not destroy.'”
That’s probably up for debate in the ever-shifting philosophies of creation and creative destruction that bracket either end of the art spectrum. It’s just remixing and fair use, some idiot on the internet is probably blogging as we speak. Many critics seem to think it’s a cheap, and sacrilegious attempt at gaining notoriety, which is definitely something that has never happened in the art world before.