Every artist wants viewers to react to their work. In that sense, Carmen Tisch appears to be a dream come true -- albeit one that turned nightmarish.
Tisch is accused of scratching, punching, rubbing her butt against and urinating near a Clyfford Still painting valued at more than $30 million.
November marked the grand opening of the Clyfford Still Museum, a facility devoted to the life and work of the U.S.-born abstract-expressionist, who died in 1980. While Still isn't nearly as well known as Jackson Pollock, with whom he's frequently (and superficially) compared, his bold and often big canvases are beloved by critics and adventurous art aficionados alike.
Among the highlights of the Denver collection is a work with the very Still-like moniker "1957-J-No. 2." As noted by the Denver Post, it's approximately nine-and-a-half feet by thirteen feet in size. Here's a look at it:
Tisch had quite a reaction to this piece, according to the statement of probable cause on view below. Around 3:40 p.m. on December 29, the report says Tisch scratched the canvas, then struck it repeatedly before leaning against it with her pants down. She then slid to the floor and urinated.
No, none of her yellow-colored liquid actually wound up on the painting. But the cost for restoring the canvas to its former glory is estimated at $10,000. As for why Tisch acted as she did, she's thought to have been drunk -- meaning the answers may have already run down her leg.
The Denver District Attorney's Office has formally charged Tisch with criminal mischief. She's due at the courthouse tomorrow. With luck, the paintings on display there will be more to her liking.
Look below to see a bigger version of Tisch's mug shot, as well as the statement of probable cause.
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