On February 8, controversial art critic Avelina Lésper , known for her distaste for contemporary art , attended Zona Maco in Mexico City , where she was accused of destroying an art piece titled Nimble and Sinister Tricks (To be Preserved with Out Scandal and Corruption) by Gabriel Rico, which was worth USD $20,000 .
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, galleries , artists , and attendees criticized Lésper and social media users shared photographs and videos of the shattered piece and of Lésper near it.
OMR, the gallery that exhibits Rico’s pieces, confirmed the art critic destroyed the art pieces created “by one of the most outstanding artists of the moment” and added that although “it seemed to be an accident (…) the actions of Ms. Lésper, of getting to close to the piece to place a soda can on top and take a picture to make a critique, without a doubt, generated the destruction and above all, it is a huge lack of respect and professionalism.”
A gallery director who was present during the incident told EL UNIVERSAL that staff from Galería OMR said Lésper made negative comments about the piece before destroying it.
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Another social media user claims Lésper tried to flee the scene after the piece shattered and later said she didn’t have the financial resources to pay for the piece.
Muralist Pavel Égüez
, who was with Avelina Lésper , said the art critic didn’t touch the piece and that it suddenly exploded .
According to Galería OMR , Gabriel Rico ’s work is:
“developed in zone in which one object crisscrosses with another in the inter-objective configuration space . By pairing natural and unnatural objects , Rico creates sculptures and installations that invite viewers to reflect on the juxtaposition of the very elements that compose them. His work aims to deconstruct and recontextualise the formulation of the art object to create pieces that fragment the composition of the contemporary human and evidence the geometric imperfection in nature.
Rico’s use of neon, taxidermy, tennis balls, ceramics, stones, branches and more personal pieces of his past are nods to both post - surrealism and arte povera movements. Through his combination of found, collected, and manufactured materials, Rico explores subjects ranging from the forms of invisible sound spectrums to our production and consumption of food.”
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On February 10, muralist Pavel Égüez shared pictures of the art critic near the Gabriel Rico piece minutes before it shattered.