HOUSTON (The Blaze/AP) -- Caught in the act by a smartphone camera, police have video recordings to help them search for a man who spray-painted Pablo Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair" at a Houston art museum.
Officials say the vandalism happened Wednesday afternoon at the Menil Collection, where the 1929 painting is one of nine Picassos. Menil spokesman Vance Muse tells the Houston Chronicle that museum security officers detected the vandalism almost immediately, when the paint was barely dry. Chief conservator Brad Epley began repair work immediately, and Muse says the painting has "an excellent prognosis."
The vandal fled and hasn't been arrested. However, police have security video -- along with a cellphone video taken by a witness and posted on YouTube. The YouTube video identifies the perpetrator as allegedly the Mexican-American artist Uriel Landeros.
Watch the video (Warning: Some strong language):
It also seems that Landeros, who it should be noted has not been confirmed as the vandal, could be bragging about it on his Facebook page. Here is a screenshot of him posting a link to the video on his profile:
KPRC reports witnesses saying the vandal identified himself as an up-and-coming artist who conducted this display to "honor Picasso." While one said they thought it was "pretty cool how he just went up to the painting without fear, spray painted it and just walked off," others think he should be prosecuted for desecrating the art if he is caught.
This post has been updated to include an image of the artwork without vandalism.