Bought by the Museum of London in 2000 and hung in an exhibition of new acquisitions in 2001, this painting is earmarked for display in the museum's planned new 20th Century Gallery. 'Art Sabotage' focuses on the moment when a visitor to the Saatchi/Royal Academy exhibition 'Sensation' vandalised Marcus Harvey's painting 'Myra'. Piddock's version of events mixes fact and fiction. READ MORE


Continued from above...

Harvey's picture was not hung but propped up on blocks and as shown here, was visible from an adjoining room as if framed by a neo-classical door surround. It was ink and eggs that were thrown at the image however, not red paint and the exhibition has been moved to a different part of the building. We're looking at a version of the view from the top of the Norman Shaw staircase and other works from the private collection are seen hanging alongside. These are 'The Celestial Globe' by William Strang and 'The Rise of Fascism' by R.B. Kitaj.

"There had been some high profile cases of works of art being vandalised and I'd been thinking for a while of making this the subject of a painting. At first I considered using one of Hirst's pickled sheep pieces 'Separated from the Flock' into which a disgruntled visitor had poured ink but it was such a flaccid, formless thing it proved impossible to give it any impact in a two-dimensional work. Whatever your moral view of Harvey's painting, it did have a startling visual quality as you came across it in the gallery. For those that feel this is another dubious exploitation of Hindley's image I would say that, unlike the original painting, mine could be interpreted as a vote of sympathy for her victims and their relatives."

The work was also intended as a commentary on the art world of the time. "To some the fact that these works were being shown at the Royal Academy was a daring assault on the establishment by outsiders. To me it was final proof that the Avantgarde or 'cutting edge' was the establishment. Long before Sensation happened, through a mixture of Arts council and private patronage, the cutting edge had become the wealthiest and most powerful academy of all to which all who didn't have the right attitude or speak the right language were excluded."
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