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South Korea: a couple vandalizes a $500,000 JonOne painting by mistake

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By Art Shortlist2 min
03/04/21

On March 28, 2021, a huge painting by the French-American artist JonOne, exhibited in an art gallery in Seoul, South Korea was vandalized "by mistake" by a young couple. The two individuals thought they were taking part in a participatory work...


A huge painting of 2016

The painting that was the object of this act of vandalism is Untitled painted by JonOne in 2016.

The painting in its entirety after this act of vandalism

Its dimensions are impressive: 240 x 700 cm. This monumental work is estimated to be worth about 500 000 dollars by the Seoul based gallery.


The video surveillance recorded everything

Images from the gallery's CCTV system.

On the images recorded by the video surveillance of the art gallery, we can clearly see the couple seize brushes and pots of paint that were at the foot of the work.

The installation imagined by the Korean gallery

In fact, these pots and brushes are part of the installation imagined by the gallery and the painter. In this moment as unusual as incredible, the young woman even allows herself to film with her smartphone. The scene recorded by the CCTV is to be seen here.


The couple was found by the police

The two young people who vandalized this painting of JonOne by putting green stains in the center then fled, here is the state of the canvas after their passage:

Detail of the part that was vandalized

Kang Wook, the person in charge of this exhibition even says: "Our team realized that someone had damaged the canvas, so I arrived on the spot".

The police quickly found the couple: "They admitted that they thought they were allowed to paint on the canvas, as a participatory art work. They admitted that they made a mistake".


The artist was contacted by the gallery

The gallery has approached JonOne to find a solution following this act.

The work with its safety cordon

The gallery has also installed a safety cordon and a "do not touch" sign to prevent such a situation from happening again.