Juxtapoz // Friday, June 22, 2007
Photo and text by George Koroneos
Last night's opening party for Shepard Fairey's Brooklyn installation almost ended on a sour note as the upbeat shindig was interrupted by the capture of the alleged Splasher, an art terrorist who has been defacing popular street art in and around Manhattan.
According to reports, two individuals attempted to set off smoke and stink bombs at the 81 Front Street art opening in Brooklyn's DUMBO district, but were quickly stopped and detained by off duty police offers acting as security for the event. "I saw all the chaos, but I had no idea what the
hell was going on," says Michael Dolan. "I thought it was dumb kids smoking pot, and I saw all the crazy security guards chasing some kid down the street, and dragging another kid back inside."
Wooster Collective is reporting that one of the two people were detained, but there is no word yet if the suspect was arrested or charged with a crime. Although heavily attended, the gallery holding the opening was big enough that it would have been hard to miss someone trying to deface one of Fairey's massive installation pieces.
Calls to Jonathan LeVine, the gallery hosting the Brooklyn installation and the art exhibit in Chelsea, were not returned at press time, but Juxtapoz will be updating the story as it unfolds and we'll have a photo set .
UPDATE 6/22/07, 10:45AM: According to Debra Anderson, PR rep for Jonathan LeVine, DJ Ben Woodward saw someone trying to light a smoke bomb and jumped over the barricade that separated the VIP area from the public, and tackled him. Security detained the suspect and kept him in the corner for the duration of the event. Apparently security (mostly off-duty cops) had to call in other levels of security to check if the suspect had any other devices planted in the gallery that could be triggered remotely. At this time Anderson says that there is no proof there was an other person involved and as of midnight last night, the suspect was still being questioned.
UPDATE 6/22/07, 11:19AM: Streetsy.com's Jake Dobkin posted a story to the Gothamist website that's been getting continual updates and eyewitness commentary. Read it all here: www.gothamist.com.