Avelina Lesper, a Mexican art critic, has stirred quite a controversy when she decided to place her empty soda pop can next to a delicate glass-sculpture created by contemporary artist Gabriel Rico. As a result, the glass and stone art work in which several objects had hung on a balance, toppled down and caused the glass pane to fall on the floor, shattering into bits and pieces.
The art fair host, Galeria OMR, known for supporting contemporary artists, condemned Ms. Lesper for her “enormous lack of professionalism and respect.” in a statement posted on Instagram, Galeria OMR said they do not understand why an art critic claiming to be a professional, would come close to an art work, and place an empty soda can, just to show her disdain.
The gallery added that Rico’s work is currently in high demand and the glass sculpture entitled “Nimble and Sinister Tricks (To Be Preserved Without Scandal and Corruption)” has an estimated value of US$20,000.
Although Ms. Lesper apologized and insisted that the destruction was not intentional, she admits placing the soda can on the glass sculpture to show her disdain for the piece. As a solution, she suggested that the gallery leave the shattered sculpture as it is, as a way of demonstrating its evolution. However, the suggestion was rejected by Galeria OMR; prompting Ms. Lesper to offer a replacement instead.
In a statement she made in Milenio, the Mexican newspaper that features Ms. Lesper’s column, the art critic described the incident as “lamentable,” whilst stating
”It was as if the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it.”
Galeria OMR Still to Decide on What Actions to Take
Galeria OMR, the art gallery founded by Patricia Ortiz Monasterio and Jaime Riestra in 1983, and which The Observer cited last year as “one of Mexico City’s largest blue-chip and longest-running galleries” still has to decide on the appropriate actions to take,
The gallery officials informed Ms. Lesper that she will hear from them after discussing the matter with sculptor Gabriel Rico and the organizers of the Zona Marco art fair. The gallery made it known though that currently, the demand for Rico’s art work is high, being one of the most outstanding artists of today.
Gabriel Rico on the other hand told BBC News that he was saddened by the disrespect shown by Ms. Lesper, and has described the situation as regrettable.