Photo via @sub_prime.
If you use Instagram, you've seen one, two, or maybe 20 selfies from the Whitney's Jeff Koons retrospective, the museum's last major exhibit before heading to its new home in the Meatpacking District. And, while practically everyone on social media (pop-art fans or not) was pretty much obsessed with the oversized mirrored animals, metallic balloons, and that mountainous Play-Doh sculpture, one self-proclaimed "art critic" wasn't exactly a fan of Koons' work.
On Wednesday, Istvan Kantor, a Canadian performance artist, made a mess at the Whitney, splashing a red substance (in the shape of an X) alongside one of Koons' most renowned sculptures, Rabbit. Although Kantor was immediately taken to New York Hospital for a psych evaluation, he was later released with no charges.
Hyperallergic exclusively obtained this official statement on the incident from the Whitney: "An isolated act of vandalism occurred this afternoon at the Whitney Museum of American Art involving a blank gallery wall on the third floor of the Jeff Koons exhibition. No artwork was affected or damaged in any way. Guards quickly apprehended the individual responsible. The police were called and they removed the individual from the museum. Following standard security protocol, the third floor of the museum was closed briefly and reopened within two hours of the incident."
Meanwhile, Kantor posted about it on Facebook, writing, "[sic] I just came out of mental hospital where the police took me after the Whitney I was discharged I am free. I'll put out my Supreme gift manifesto that I handed to the museum after the intervention tomorrow now I go out for a drink in the lower east side..."
Attempting to defame Koons' work seems to be one of Kantor's favorite pastimes. In 2004, he "tried to squeeze a capsule of blood" onto the artist's Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture when it was on display in Berlin. According to a New York Times article written at the time, he had previously left his bloody "X" on the walls of famed institutions like the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he's currently banned.