Critic Accidentally Shatters $20,000 USD Artwork at Zona Maco Fair

“It was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it.”

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Arts
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Latin America’s premier contemporary art festival, Zona Maco in Mexico City, attracted over 70,000 visitors. Among those visitors was art critic Avelina Lésper who accidentally destroyed a mixed-media work by rising Mexican artist Gabriel Rico. The piece entitled Nimble and sinister tricks (To be preserved without scandal and corruption) I (2018) was apparently worth $20,000 USD according to The Guardian.

Rico creates surrealist sculptures that largely explore the relationship between humans and nature. The work shattered by Lésper featured manmade objects such as tennis balls that were juxtaposed with natural ephemera like feathers and rocks. Ostensibly, the critic placed an empty soda can near the work that was encased in a sheet of glass. She then went closer to the work to take a picture and then the piece fell apart moments later.

Lésper explained that she wanted to take a photograph of the work and relay her negative views toward it. “It was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it,” Lésper said in a video statement for Milenio, a Mexican media group that publishes her columns. “The work shattered into pieces and collapsed and fell on the floor.”

OMR Gallery, who presented the work, called the critic’s actions as unprofessional. “Lésper coming too close to the work to place a soda can on it and take a picture as criticism without a doubt caused the destruction,” OMR gallery said in a statement.

Following the incident, Lésper told the gallery that it should leave the piece destroyed to showcase its evolution. The critic even offered to repair the work after the gallery denied her suggestion to fix it. As of now, the gallery is currently communicating with Rico before announcing what they will do with the destroyed artwork.

Elsewhere in art, Gagosian LA is hosting Richard Prince’s latest Instagram portraits.

Zona Maco 2020
Centro Citibanamex
Av. del Conscripto 311,
Lomas de Sotelo, Hipódromo de las Américas
Miguel Hidalgo, 11200
Ciudad de México, CDMX
Mexico

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En OMR estamos muy tristes y decepcionados por lo que sucedió el día de hoy en la feria de arte @zonamaco. No entendemos como una supuesta crítica profesional de arte, destruyó una obra. Gabriel Rico fue seleccionado para la Bienal de Venecia el año pasado, dentro de la selección oficial, con piezas en el Giardini y Arsenale. A sus escasos 39 años ha tenido exposiciones individuales en museos de la talla del Aspen Art Museum en Colorado y su obra será mostrada la semana que viene en Frieze Los Ángeles; en fin, es uno de los artistas más buscados de OMR por coleccionistas e instituciones del momento. A pesar de que parece haber sido accidental y que es irrelevante como sucedió, la acción de la Stra. Lésper de acercarse demasiado a la obra para ponerle una lata de refresco encima y tomarse una foto para hacer una crítica, sin duda ocasionó el destrozo, y es sobre todas las cosas, una enorme falta de profesionalismo y respeto. Estamos hablando con los organizadores de la feria y contactando al artista y los mantendremos informados sobre lo que proceda. #ZonaMaco #Mexico #SemanaDelArte #GabrielRico

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