So far this year, three Picassos have been stolen—two from the National Gallery in Athens, as yet unrecovered, as well as a lithograph swiped earlier this month from a private home in the San Francisco Bay area, later found at the side of the road. Now at Houston's Menil Collection, a supposed “up and coming Mexican-American artist,” (this according to a witness,) has defaced Picasso’s “Woman in a Red Armchair,” from 1929.
Last Wednesday, the perpetrator, using a stencil à la Banksy, spray-painted a bull being killed by a bullfighter along with the word, “Conquista,” Spanish for conquest.
If the vandal’s goal was to permanently alter the Picasso, he missed the mark as the painting was rushed to on-site conservators while the paint was still wet, and should be back on display this week in its original form.
If his goal was to create an impression, he has managed that, but judging from the blogosphere, it is not a good one.
While the incident was caught on museum security footage and on cellphone video, no arrests have been made. View the suspect on YouTube.