December 9, 2014

Punching Out a Monet

Monet punch

I know this incident is a couple years old now. It’s back in the news today though because the guy who punched a hole in Monet’s $10 mil Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (since restored) is now on his way to the pen. The more ideological theory for the attack initially offered by Dublin police was that the assailant wanted to get back at the State. That didn’t wash, however, with the subsequent news that the perp (going away for 5 years, with a follow-on gallery ban) was a serial art thief.

Still, the puncture seems so fitting of the times (as I sit here in Berkeley clicking through photo links as protesters and police clash blocks away over Eric Garner and Michael Brown). With such disparity over means, opportunity and justice in our otherwise elegant world, frustration and aggression abounds. If the situation of the hole was random as well as the work of a pro, well okay. At the same time, looking at this painting any number of people could have ponied up the $10 mil for, my first thought was: there’s at least one more boat out there that’s never coming in.


(photo 1: SWNS via Metro. photo 2:

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Michael Shaw
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