A 51-year-old male Czech national smashed a portrait of performance artist Marina Abramović over her own head.
On Sunday, performance artist Marina Abramović was leaving a book signing when she was confronted by a man who smashed her portrait over Abramović’s head.
The incident happened at 1pm in Florence, where the world-renowned performance artist is attending a series of events to celebrate a recent retrospective of her work at Palazzo Strozzi. In front of a crowd of fans, the 51-year-old male Czech national approached the artist while holding a “crude portrait” on a wooden frame, with no glass, and quickly brought it down over her head. Reports confirm Abramović is not injured and has decided not to press charges against her attacker.
Abramović recounted what happened to local media, telling them she could see his violent intentions: “He approached me looking into my eyes and I smiled at him thinking that it was a gift for me. In a split second I saw his expression change and become violent, coming towards me very quickly and forcefully. The dangers always come very quickly, like death itself.”
According to reports, the 51-year-old artist told her he had to commit the assault “for his art”. The man is known for his outlandish acts at galleries. The New York Times reports that local paper Corriere della Sera has confirmed the “alleged attacker twice stretched out nude in public in Florence, once lying on fake dollar bills, in recent years.”
“Violence against others doesn’t make art. I was also a young artist who was not famous, but I have never hurt anyone. In my work, I stage different situations and put my life at risk. But this is my decision and I set the conditions,” Abramović told local newspaper La Repubblica