They say it is a herculean task to understand an artist. Well, believe it or not – artists are known for their unpredictable behavior. There had been quite a few artists in the past that destroyed their own masterpieces. Some of the reasons were pretty surprising. Let’s have a look!
Yes, you have read it right. The renowned artist worked on a sculpture of Virgin Mary (which he used to call The Deposition) for as long as eight years. Just before completing it, he decided to destroy his work as he thought it was bringing him bad luck.
SourceThe famed street artist worked on the walls of Bologna for 20 years. When his work was taken to an art gallery, he decided to paint it all in gray. According to him, it was made for the streets and wasn’t meant to be showcased in a gallery.
- Gerard Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the most renowned Victorian poets. Though, his work was identified much after his death as he burned most of it in 1868. He thought that his art was taking him away from his religious beliefs and burned his work to seek redemption.
- Heather Benning
SourceHeather was featured in almost every newspaper in 2013 when she created a lifelike giant dollhouse. Though, she shocked everyone when she ended up burning the entire house. She later told the media that she created the dollhouse in order to destroy it in the end.
SourceMonet is widely known for his series of Water Lily paintings. Though, before his death, he destroyed 12 large canvases that would have worth millions of dollars. It was assumed that a critic got to him, which made him despise his own work.
- Gerhard Richter
SourceIn 2015, one of Richter’s works was sold for $46 million, setting a new world record. Though, back in the 1960s, he destroyed his own studio to get a fresh start. It is assumed that his destroyed work was worth more than half a billion dollars.
- Jasper Johns
SourceJohns was a renowned American artist until one day he had an epiphany and decided to stop being a painter. He went on and destroyed everything that was created by him till 1954, leaving almost nothing of his art.
- Charles Camoin
SourceThe highly acclaimed painter ended up destroying his work not just once, but twice. He slashed a total of 80 paintings that were worth millions of dollars.
- Dionysis Karipidis
SourceIt was in 1997 when Karipidis made an extravagant sculpture of a mermaid in Greece. Though, the government opposed it and asked the artist to pay a fine instead. To protest against it, Karipidis stripped naked and destroyed his masterpiece with a chisel.
SourceVirgil is widely known all over the world for Aeneid, which is considered as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. Though, one of his masterpieces never saw the light of the day. He took almost 11 years to write an epic poem only to get it destroyed by his friends in the end.
- John Baldessari
SourceJohn Baldessari became quite popular in the 50s with his signature style of using colorful dots to represent human faces. Despite being acclaimed by critics, he ended up destroying almost all of his work in order to have an artistic rebirth.
So it turns out that “art destruction” is indeed a thing! Don’t believe me? Google it yourself and you would be amazed to see a whole new world.