UPDATED: Street Artist Who Allegedly Defaced Picasso Painting at Menil Posted Media Coverage to His Facebook Wall

Categories: Museums

menil-vandal.jpg
Landeros's Facebook page with the story from channel 2 posted on it.
UPDATE: That didn't take long. Friday, the Houston Police Department charged Landeros with criminal mischief and felony graffiti. Police are seeking the public's help in finding him. Steve Jansen reported on Tuesday that evidence was building against Landeros. From HPD's press release:

Twenty two year old Uriel Landeros, was charged with Criminal Mischief and Felony Graffiti, both third degree felonies. Landeros is described as a white male, standing 5'8", weighing 180 lbs. Anyone with information about the location of Uriel Landeros is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

So, if you see him...

Most street artists prefer to remain relatively anonymous. Some of it is for credibility, but much is for safety, as their art is often at odds with local authorities, as examined in the local documentary film Stick 'Em Up and profiled in our feature story "Up from the Underground." That doesn't appear to be the case for Uriel Landeros, who apparently is pretty damn proud of his alleged recent defacing of the Pablo Picasso painting "Woman in a Red Armchair."

According to reports and a video posted to YouTube, the artist allegedly entered the Menil Collection and stenciled a bullfighter killing a bull and the word "Conquista" on the painting. The Chron reports that the paint was barely dry before being rushed to the Menil's repair expert, Brad Epley.

Amazingly, a witness told KPRC Channel 2 that he confronted the artist and was told he was "an up-and-coming Mexican-American artist" and this was a tribute to Picasso's work, which is repeated on the YouTube page for the original video.

The video shows someone quickly stenciling on the painting and exiting in a hurry. The YouTube page states:

Young Mexican-American artist URIEL LANDEROS, paints a stencil of a bullfighter killing a bull over an original 1929 Picasso painting in Houston TX.

**In Dedication to the art beast Pablo Picasso**

Landeros's Facebook page features the Channel 2 story, posted on his wall Monday afternoon. If he truly was the guy who stenciled the Picasso, he certainly isn't concerned about the public knowing it.

Location Info

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The Menil Collection

1515 Sul Ross, Houston, TX

Category: General

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17 comments
KEBkebKEBkeb
KEBkebKEBkeb

ok your description "white male" is so wrong. i went to highschool with this guy and you can even tell from him picture...i dont care what you say, but MEXICAN isnt WHITE. he is BROWN, big shocker so now we have a bunch of people out looking for some white guy and he will just keep slipping under the radar. one guess  where he went: mexico.

Guest
Guest like.author.displayName 1 Like

White male???? LOL so mexicans are called white now when they commit a crime?

Hanomalous
Hanomalous

 Banksy is creative enough not to just walk up to an artwork and deface it. Any idiot can do that. If the idiot who did this gets away with this, what is stopping the millions of people who want to make a name for themselves from defacing all existing works of art in museums around the world?

Uunio
Uunio

Are they getting the death penalty?

JB
JB like.author.displayName 1 Like

Mr. Landeros hopes to have his 15 minutes of fame by doing this stunt. He hopes that by defacing other artist's works his talent will be noticed. But there is no talent to speak of judging from his works online. Anybody can go into an art museum and deface a painting, anybody, but nobody does it. Why? Because it's stupid. Banksy won't do that (and he's got talent).    

Artist
Artist

 "His work was mostly dismissed in his life?" Are you kidding me? Check your facts before talking about something you know nothing about. Picasso was a living legend while he was alive, his work was not dismissed in the slightest. Basquiat's work was so popular that he could paint in armani suits and afford all the heroin he desired. The disrespect is not the same in the slightest. Street art isn't meant to be permanent.

You're dumb.
You're dumb.

Is there some reason you have to believe that he's not 100% American?

Texmex01
Texmex01

he is on the same level as the "artists" that tag the cool bridges on 59 between Montrose and Woodhead that I would love to see fall to earth while tagging them.....

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

It irritates me that he claims he did it as a "tribute" to Picasso. No sir. That was a tribute to yourself. Picasso made his artistic statement exactly as he wanted to with that painting and it's in no way a tribute to smear your own "thoughts" on it. It's not social commentary, it's not a protest, it's just a low-level thug self-aggrandizing the way thugs do. You can't thoughtlessly deface another artist's work like this and call yourself an artist. There's nothing in this action but self-promotion, which is exactly what real street artists like Banksy despise and struggle against. This is why we can't have nice things.

mike
mike

First, what Banksy does looks good.  This cat's stencil is some high school ish.  Second, do we really need to get in to the differences between a Picasso in the Menil and the midtown Days Inn?  That would be dense.

Auntie Matter
Auntie Matter

I see what you're saying. Here's how I see it, as someone who loves street art. The 1920s Picasso was not forgotten or neglected. It was brought into someone's private collection, loved as art, and preserved. Is it old? Yes. Is it universally loved and known? Not Picasso's most popular work, but it is still art, and it is appreciated, cared for, and shared with others. The 1920s dilapidated building was neglected, possibly abandoned, and maybe even allowed to fall into such disrepair and decay that it can no longer be used or enjoyed as a building. In that case, I see a street artist repurposing something many people see as junk/blight as a canvas to make a statement and create art without diminishing the still cherished work of another.

Auntie Matter
Auntie Matter

 As soon as the "witness" said, in one of the FB comments, "The painting sucked anyway," I knew he was no artist. Art is subjective. One person's suckage is another's masterpiece. I'm not a fan of Rothko, but I am not going to disrespect or deface his work. I would never disrespect any artist's work, famous or not, just because I either don't get it or don't like it. If this "up and coming Mexican American artist" wants to make a statement, he should do it with his own work, not by stupid stunts. The former makes him an artist. The latter makes him a punk with a spray can and no imagination.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Um, no. Trying to start a meaningful discussion about the nature of art does not make me look bad.

Deborah Burge
Deborah Burge like.author.displayName 1 Like

I am an artist. I am also a street artist. This person is not an artist. It is an affront to real artists everywhere street or studio for his treasonous actions and gall to call himself an artist. This is just an assh*le.

UrielLanderos.com
UrielLanderos.com like.author.displayName 1 Like

Looks like Uriel has his own tribute site now:  www.UrielLanderos.com

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