After we arrived in New York in 1968, my first freelance gig was writing previews of upcoming art exhibitions for Arts Magazine. For five bucks a review, I would trot around the area that is now Soho, climbing rickety, dangerous stairs to look for the next Jackson Pollock. Lofts were illegal for living in those days so I learned a lot about fake walls and how to cleverly hide bedrooms and kitchens from prying building inspectors.
I thought of those days this morning when I read the strange news of the lady who besmirched a bone-dry white Cy Twombly painting on exhibition in France by planting a lipstick-drenched kiss on it. I remember meeting Twombly in his loft on the Bowery one fall day around 1970. Twombly was not one of the illegal dwellers; he was well-known even then and living in Rome, as I recall. I loved his work then; still do, and remember thinking to myself: if only I had a couple of hundred bucks I bet he would sell me a little drawing. But, alas, those were lean times and the opportunity passed.
On the other hand, artists are incredibly generous people and I have many pieces that were given to me during this period, including works by Sol LeWitt, Jasper Johns and Arakawa. I still regret the Twombly though.
But, I digress. The topic of the day is music vandalism. Any famous examples? Any obscure examples?