Candy-coated crimes: Arts professionals confess (2012)

Damaging artworks, lying, stealing and shooting at sculpture. Is this a typical day for today’s art professionals?

Confession #1: My crimes against art were hardly organised. I worked as a picture framer throughout the 90’s while pursuing an uneventful DJ career. I committed various offences including ABH to a Henry Moore etching with a pneumatic staple gun, GBH to a photograph owned by Elton John with glass cleaning fluid and attempted murder of a John Hoyland print with lump of marble. I remain at large. Do not approach me. Your art is at risk.

* The criminal offences of common assault, actual bodily harm (ABH) and grievous bodily harm (GBH) are governed by the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 [in the UK].

Confession #2: As a grad student, I once completely lied about the information about one building in a survey lecture on Thai Contemporary architecture that I presented to other grad students and my prof. Right after the presentation before taking questions, I confessed that the description of the specific building was complete fiction.

My prof freaked.

She asked why I did it.

I explained I wanted to experience presenting complete art fiction and watch you all believe it, just to get that experience. And you all believed it. And besides, it was a little art performance intervention.

CERUSmedia Ceven Knowles candy coated crime
Cropped still from The Opiates’ Candy coated crime (Disco Bloodbath Remix) video, directed by Ceven Knowles / CERUSmedia, Berlin.

Confession #3: Many years ago I did a five-day course in stain glass at the local adult education centre. During this time I stole the life-size, model skeleton from the life drawing room. Each day I took a different part. On the last day I had to sneak out a whole rib-cage and head in my bag.

I still feel very guilty. I would return it but my ex-husband took it from me.

Confession #4: In the Toronto Eaton’s Centre there’s a hanging sculpture depicting a life-sized flock of Canada Geese in flight.

One Christmas, the mall management put a red bow around the neck of each goose. The artist went berserk, claiming the work was being “desecrated.”

The mall caved and removed the bows. I went down town with my BB gun and filled those ducks with lead. That’s what we do with real Canada Geese, so why not?

Confession #5: Your confession here, hmm?

Editorial note: We have not fact-checked these confessions, and as we celebrate the combination of fact-fiction in the art, design and music journalism worlds, we encouraged our anonymous contributors to be as factually accurate or creative as they see fit!

See more art world confessions: Ryan Gander artwork attacked by arts administrator; Artwriter mistakes female performance artist for a tranny.