Published January 05, 2012
DENVER – A Colorado woman was arrested after allegedly pulling down her pants and punching a $30 million painting -- before urinating against it.
Carmen Tisch, 36, is accused of causing $10,000 worth of damage to the Clyfford Still oil-on-canvas last week at a Denver museum dedicated to the late abstract artist.
Tisch was believed to have been drunk when she attacked the 9.5-foot artwork, entitled "1957-J-No.2," at around 3:30pm local time on Dec 29, the Denver Post reported.
She pulled her pants down in the Clyfford Still Museum, according to a police report, and leaned against the iconic painting, before punching it.
She then slid down the artwork and urinated on herself, according to the criminal case against her.
"It doesn't appear she urinated on the painting or that the urine damaged it, so she's not being charged with that," Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said Wednesday.
Authorities said the work, which is valued between $30 million and $40 million, had visible scratches on it as a result of the attack.
Ivar Zeile, owner of Denver's Plus Gallery, said that it may be possible to restore the painting, but the value could be affected.
"It does damage the piece, though, even people just knowing that happened," he said.
Tisch was charged with criminal mischief and was being held Thursday in the Denver County Jail on $20,000 bond. She was due to appear in Denver County Court Friday morning.
Clyfford Still, from North Dakota, was one of the leading figures of Abstract Expressionism in the 20th century.
The museum, which opened on Nov. 18, holds around 2,400 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures from the artist's 60-year body of work.