Our buddy, Albert Crudo, the controversial New York artist who painted Donald Trump nude with a skyscraper for a penis last year, if you remember, is back with the controversy, bless him. This triptych of his (The Nature of the Beast: Parts I, II & III, 1999, oil on canvas, 60×120″), valued at $10,000, has been vandalized. Here, let him tell it:
I have a show hanging at La Fenice Cafe, 2012 Broadway between 68th and 69th Streets, mere blocks from Lincoln Center. For months a few disgruntled patrons have been expressing their displeasure with a triptych entitled The Nature of the Beast: Parts I, II & III. The owner has stood behind my work and his decision to hang what he feels, and has told these people that if they don’t like the work they can find someplace else to eat. Well, this past week-end some crazed person decided to take the matter into their own hands and correct the situation by destroying the work. On Monday morning one of the staff discovered a 5″ slash in the second panel of the piece and a 2″ gash in the third. The 20th precinct was called and Detective Jose Rodriguez came and filled out a report and is currently investigating the case and trying to find the vandal. The owner of La Fenice is offering a $1000 reward for any tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandal. And the piece is staying put.
So I’m trying to make this negative into a positive. People have been saying that I should be quite proud that my work effected someone so deeply that they had this strong of a reaction to it. Many, although horrified at the actual act, have said they think that this maniac has actually increased the value of the piece, giving it an exciting history. So I’m trying to take these observations into consideration, but I still feel violated. It’s amazing that some people think they have the right to harm other people and/or their property. Right after being told about the incident, before I even went to go see the damage, I went on-line to see about repair options and I did feel much better when I read articles about one loony carving a hole into a Picasso and another maniac taking a hammer to the toe of Michelangelo’s David, so I guess, if nothing else, I’m in good company!