From AP News: A former guard, Timur Serebrykov at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, has pleaded guilty to slashing a $1.2 million painting with a key and faces sentencing on April 7. Serebrykov slashed Night Sky 2 by Latvian artist Vija Celmins on May 16 because he didn’t like it.
Of three parties, sure Mr. Serebrykov would seem to have the facts working against him. But what about the museum, which only paid $5000 for repair, but insisted that the painting is worth $240,000 less now and wants compensated. If I were Vija Celmins, at least I would be happy to know the painting made the news among all the paintings in Carnegie International 2008. Also, has the musuem counted the dramatic downturn of the contemporary art market?
Personally, the painting does not touch me, at least not through the available online images. It is not something provocative or slightly repulsive like those by Bacon or Gilbert and George. Since I cannot see the emotional power from the painting itself, could the reason of vadalism be something beyond the stretcher bars? I do not know, but I am sure more news will come when the trial begins.