Uriel Landeros’ one-man show at Houston’s James Gallery has garnered national attention, with articles in the Houston Chronicle, the NY Times, and the Associated Press. Landeros is the 22-year old charged with felony graffiti and felony criminal mischief for allegedly defacing “Woman in a Red Armchair” at Houston’s Menil Collection on June 13.
Gallery owner James Perez has been answering a lot of angry questions about the show from artists, the press and police; with some comebacks more thought-provoking than Landeros’ original alleged crime:
Threats of vandalism to Landeros’ works? Perez has already tagged one of them with Picasso’s signature, saying, “Hopefully someone will come here and graffiti this art, and they’ll get a felony too,” neatly pointing out the unequal application of the laws, depending on whether the victim is a rich, well established art institution, or a young, male, hispanic fugitive artist, who could face an incredible 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. The role of Landeros’ identity in the furor will reportedly be highlighted by a “Uriel Landeros look-alike contest” being organized for the opening.
Responding to accusations of self-serving grand-standing for putting on the show, Perez retorted: “I’m already popular- this is for Uriel”
Landeros himself released a Youtube video in which he earnestly explains his action as an attempt to raise awareness of society’s injustices. Obviously reading from off-screen notes, the three-minute video ends with a bit that helps explain the young man’s seemingly self-destructive act: “Fear controls you- once it doesn’t control you, you can become something else, something better,” he says, “I want to become something better.”
Landeros is a coward who ran away–it’s ironic to hear him talking about conquering fear.
Please glasstire, please.
The point about being controlled by fear is a good one. I think that an equally important point, perhaps even more important, is at the very beginning, when he dedicates his act to victims of injustice, and then immediately gives his first example as “from their family”. Something is not right in the universe of Mr Landeros. This entire saga seems like an attempt at public therapy.
If I deface one of Landeros’ works, do I get a show?
Actually, he lost the bullfight…
It’s a shame it takes worldwide attention to draw a impartial look at Uriel as a artist. This show was about destruction as a act of creation .Every one of Uriels painting was vandalized and re titled and this came to a shock to Uriel . Uriel is just now understanding the impact he’s having on the art world. He believes in what he says and unlike most of us is willing to take a stand. Love and respect
It is not a stand, it is a lesser, un-informed re-treading of an action from 1974. His art cannot stand up to Picasso and his action cannot hold up to Shafrazi.
The para-phrase Beckett: “fail better” next time.
I meant “to para-phrase”, sorry.