Uriel Landeros, 22 the man accused of vandalising the 1929 Pablo Picasso painting “Woman in a Red Armchair” in an attack that was caught on mobile phone video, has been denied bail and must remain in jail on $500,000 bonds because he is a flight risk, a Houston judge ruled on Wednesday. The man is charged with criminal mischief felonies dating back to the 13 June incident.
Charges are in relation to spraying paint with the words “conquista” along with the image of a bull stencilled on the picture, at the Menil Collection in Houston. Each felony charge carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison. The vandalism was captured in a 24-second video taken by a bystander and posted on YouTube. See Below
John Lewis The Prosecutor stated; “Landeros, a U.S. citizen fled to Mexico after the incident. He surrendered to authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border. State District Judge Vanessa Velasquez agreed that Landeros posed a flight risk. Landeros’ attorney, Emily Detoto, said she intends to file a motion asking that his bonds be reduced. “It’s too excessive,” Detoto said. Landeros intends to plead not guilty, she said. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5. Landeros said little during the court hearing, giving only brief answers to Velasquez’ questions”.
Landeros has given several interviews where he has admitted that the graffiti damage to the Picasso was caused by him. In videos posted to YouTube, Landeros says he didn’t intend to destroy the painting but that his actions were an act of social and political defiance.
This worrying trend by taggers has also seen works by other artists the target of vandals. In October, a man in London scrawled graffiti on a painting by the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko at London’s Tate Modern. Wlodzimierz Umanieche the self-styled ‘Yellowist’ artist, who caused international outrage by tagging the masterpiece in the name of his pseudo movement was jailed for two years in December.
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