Artist who vandalized Picasso’s painting surrenders to authorities

Paula David – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Houston, TX, United States (4E) – Almost half a year after being accused of vandalizing a Picasso painting at the Menil Museum, artist Uriel Landeros turns himself in to the authorities Tuesday to face consequences.

Landeros is believed to have been in hiding since June 13 last year when he spray-painted Picasso’s ‘Woman in a Red Armchair’ while on display at the Menil Museum. He is now in custody and has been charged with felony graffiti and criminal mischief.

“He surrendered at the urging of his family and myself, to come in and get started on the process,” said Emily Detoto, Landeros’ attorney. Detoto also expressed that Landeros might have been hiding in Mexico the whole time.

The 22-year-old artist was caught, in a video taken by one of the museum’s patrons, spray-painting a stencil of a bullfighter killing a bull and the word ‘conquista’ on Picasso’s valuable piece. The video was later posted on YouTube.

In August, Landeros expressed in video that it was not his intention to profane Picasso’s work, which has been restored, but to send a message to people.

“I did this to turn heads, to raise awareness to the world,” he said. “My intention was not to destroy the painting…I am sorry for insulting anybody who misunderstood my message.”

In November, Landeros expressed on local television that vandalism was an act of social and political defiance.

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