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A vandal gets his own show

Posted by Sarah Laskow  November 1, 2012 11:50 AM

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A couple of weeks back, Brainiac readers heard about Vladimir Umanets, who defaced a valuable Rothko in London's Tate Modern; he was also interviewed in an Ideas story last week. Umanets had theoretical reasons for vandalizing the Rothko, but there are also less theoretical reason a young man might tag a painting: to attract attention!

That strategy has worked out well for another young vandal. Uriel Landeros, 22, allegedly walked into a museum in Houston earlier this year and added a bullfighter and the word "conquista" to Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair." Now, he has his own gallery show. Titled “Houston, We Have a Problem,“ it opened Friday at Cueto James Art Gallery.

The gallery owner, James Perez, told the AP why he reached out to the artist: "It's just taking something and making it your own. I like what Uriel did. That it makes it yours."

You have to wonder how Landeros would react if another artist walked into his show and added to any of his works.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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