Must be worth a million now
Art is sacred in the Brave New World.
Splotches of paint are art.
A couple defaced artwork worth $500,000 after assuming brushes left behind by the artist were for spectators’ use.
The untitled artwork was painted by American graffiti artist JonOne in 2016 in front of an audience at Seoul’s Lotte World Mall in South Korea.
The brushes, paint and paint buckets had been left scattered as props in front of the artwork to provide context for the piece.
But visitors ‘mistakenly’ thought they were allowed to use the items for participatory art, and daubed paint across the canvas.
The art was 22.9ft by 7.8ft, and was the only piece in the exhibition without a frame, due to its size.
CCTV cameras captured a young man and woman picking up some of the paint and putting it onto the artwork.
Can you tell if this is the before or the after?
The couple were later arrested at the mall by police.
The pair were later released, and charges are unlikely to be brought because it appeared to have been an ‘honest mistake’ according to Head of Exhibition, Kang Wook.
‘They thought they were allowed to do that as participatory art and made a mistake,’ he said.
‘We are currently in discussions with the artist about whether to restore it.’
He added that the incident has only increased the fame of the painting, with several visitors taking photographs of the art and questioning staff about the show.
Seeing something like this – you might as well assume Korea is totally gone.