To maximize its blockbuster Jeff Koons retrospective, The Whitney stayed open for 36 hours straight this weekend, allowing viewers to meditate on pornographic paintings and balloon dogs all night long. Around 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, a 33-year-old man named Christopher Johnson was arrested after spray-painting graffiti on the wall, according to The New York Times.
Johnson, a Manhattan resident, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, making graffiti, possession of a graffiti instrument and criminal nuisance. According to The Times, no damage was done to the art itself.
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This is the second incident of vandalism to occur at Koons' blowout retrospective. In August, Hungarian-born performance artist Istvan Kantor splattered his own blood into the shape of an "X" on the museum wall. He was later taken to a nearby hospital for mental examination.
ArtNews' Zoë Lescaze, who was at The Whitney at the time of the most recent vandalism, broke the news. However, according to Lescaze, this was not the only spooky occurrence brewing at the Koons show after dark.
"Beyond the graffiti incident, there was a generally apocalyptic atmosphere to the late-night scene. Two young girls navigated the artist’s hardcore “Made in Heaven” series with unsettling nonchalance. Someone opened an emergency exit on the second floor and the shrill beeps joined drunken voices echoing through the stairwell. A woman wearing a wedding dress drifted past Hulk (Organ) (2004–14) like it was a roadside attraction in the desert on the way to her Vegas chapel. Only a very skeletal crew of museum staff appeared to be on hand. It almost felt as though the building was going to be torn down after this one last blowout."
Perhaps all these recent abnormalities just mean the world can't handle any more Koons right now. If that's the case, you may sleep calmly tonight; the exhibition closed on Sunday evening and the world was restored to its equilibrium, where balloon animals are worth approximately $3, not $58.4 million.
Now let's all get excited for the new Whitney location.