Identify this vandalized painting of a dancer

Back in the early 1990s, I recall seeing a report on the news about a vandalism incident. Apparently one or more vandals walked into a major art museum and spray-painted a painting. From what I recall, the painting was of one or more ballerinas. The painting must have been pretty famous because this was on the national news (CBC) and they trotted out some art restoration expert to assure the horrified public that the damage could be repaired, though at considerable cost. They televised pictures of the damage—the painting had big splats of brightly coloured paint, with lots of it running down the painting in streaks.

I can’t remember the name of the painting, nor the artist, nor the museum. Can anyone help me out? I’m no art expert but the painting looked like a 19th-century work to me. Maybe impressionism.

Was it perhaps a Degas?

I found this story.

That’s a documentary about 27 vandalized paintings. I’m pretty sure that in the incident I’m talking about, only one painting was vandalized.

Could have been. I know of one painting of Degas with a ballerina, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the one I’m thinking of. A Google search for “Degas vandalized” doesn’t seem to turn up anything relevant on the first page of results.

Maybe this one? No ballerinas though.

What makes you think it’s that one? That’s a pop art painting of curtains vandalized with a felt pen. I specifically asked about a much older painting of ballerinas vandalized with spraypaint. About the only thing right about the incident you posted is the time frame. You do realize, I hope, that art vandalism is not such a rare occurrence that any random incident you find might happen to be the one I remember? It seems every few years some maniac scribbles over a priceless painting or smashes a famous statue. In the late 20th century alone Michelangelo’s two most famous sculptures, David and the Pietà, were both smashed with hammers; acid was thrown on two paintings of Rembrandt’s; Da Vinci’s Burlington House Cartoon was shot with a shotgun; and Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid was dismembered four times.

Well, in defense of x-ray vision, it’s possible that you misremembered the incident, in which case his link would have made you go, " :smack: ". It’s not unknown to happen in GQ, yanno. :wink:

Also like to point out, as tactfully as possible :smiley: , that GQ isn’t the Shell Answer Man, where only 100% correct answers are acceptable. Sometimes getting an answer to your question involves a lot of collective brainstorming, until finally somebody’s post triggers somebody else’s memory, and then The Truth emerges. And inevitably that involves a few posts that are incorrect.

And also wish to point out that not everything is on the Internet, or is Google-able. If nobody out there has linked to a web page mentioning the incident in question, it’s not going to turn up on a Google search. I myself spent ten minutes googling earlier, and didn’t turn up anything. So it’s possible your answer is not obtainable here.

Actually, my best advice to you would be that if you haven’t gotten an answer by tomorrow, that you e-mail a mod and ask to have this moved to Cafe Society. It’s more likely that the Fine Arts group over there would know about this; GQ tends to be more of a current events/facts ‘n’ figures group.

That sounds pretty much like the scene in the first Batman film, where The Joker (Jack Nicholson) prances into an art museum and spray paintsvandalises all sorts of stuffs with his cronies. I just looked at the scene on Youtube and they do deface some ballerinas. Maybe you are just remembering some Batman promo material from 1989?

There was a news story (still trying to find it) where some guy threw paint over a painting (and the artist, I think) and tried to defend his action by saying it was valid criticism, or was itself a work of art. Not sure if this is in any way related to the OP’s question, because the news item is eluding me.

Ah, but in the early 21st century such crude methods of deconstructive vandalism are now seen by most serious critics as passé.

Furthermore the events you describe are hardly artistic statements in their own right. A revolution in structural constructivism as it applies to the reappraisal of artistic oeuvres began in 1996, when the new Post Modernist Vandalism movement, exemplified as it was by the pioneering Jubal Brown, imposed strict rules which dictate that any expressionist act aimed specifically at modifying the texture and subjectivism of a work of art per se by or in itself must be achieved by oral means as well as the visual.

This is best obtained by vomiting on it.

Moving to Cafe Society. The Arts, and all.

samclem GQ moderator

Could it have been a Toulouse-Lautrec? My Google skills haven’t unearthed a story.

I, for one, am no longer even slightly interested in helping you.

Do you know what maybe means?

No, you specifically said, you recalled that it was ballerinas and it was something you recalled hearing in the early 90s. Sometimes small details about something that wasn’t that big a deal in your life aren’t recalled correctly.

I think it’s rare enough that there probably aren’t that many cases of it happening in the 90s that linking to random incidents may have uncovered the case you’re looking for. It only takes a few seconds to click on a link and check out the details. Had I known you were positive about the ballerinas, I wouldn’t have bothered posting the links I did.