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Police seek information pertaining to the slashing of two controversial $10,000 paintings

New York, NY- March 10, 2005- This past weekend New York artist Albert Crudo had two of his paintings vandalized at an Upper West Side cafe, La Fenice 2012 Broadway, NYC 10023. The painting, entitled The Nature of the Beast: Parts I, II, III has been causing quite a stir among patrons since it's installation in early December. The artwork is a monochromatic red triptych depicting three dog-men doing what dog-men do best- begging, sniffing and urinating on fire hydrants. Apparently, these common occurrences that New Yorkers see, and ignore, every day are acceptable to view on the streets of the city but not so while sipping a latte.

"It's a sorry state of affairs when people take it upon themselves to judge what should and shouldn't be shown, in a private space no less, and then to damage the work when they could easily just walk away. Utterly childish!" expresses Crudo "They're no better then the common juvenile delinquent that graffiti a subway train or keys a car."

The Fondald
Crudo is best known for his outrageous portraits of celebrities from his "Pop Icons" series. One of his latest, The Fondald: "My tower is bigger than your tower!" which has a buff and beautiful (and nude) Donald Trump making unapologetic eye-contact with the viewer as he holds a well-positioned rendering of his CPW hotel, caused a very vocal outcry from the public when it was unveiled in Brooklyn late last year. The local community board was up-in-arms trying to get it taken down, but even with the intensity of that incident, it did not end in with the work being harmed in any way. The current exhibition at La Fenice has now been up for several months and according to the owner Marco Mastrangelo, a few customers have been shocked by the work, but he never received any indication that anyone was so offended as to harm the work in any way. And he stands by his decision to keep the work hanging- "This is a private establishment. I LOVE Crudo's work. And if you don't approve there are many other places for you to go."

The 20th precinct is currently investigating the crime with Detective Jose Rodriguez in charge of the case. Mr. Crudo and Mr. Mastrangelo are jointly offering a $1000 reward for any tip leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal.

Crudo has received condolences from many artists including world famous artist Chuck Close who was horrified to hear of the slashing. "If you find this piece offensive, there is something terribly wrong with you" assures Crudo. "This piece is created with such irony, such a obvious a sense of humor, that unless you are the most uptight, closeted individual, guarding deep-rooted secrets of the most depraved nature, you could never be offended by this work. The thing that bothers me most is it was done so sneakily, so underhanded, while nobody was looking- what a yellow-rat bastard way of doing it. I mean, if you're going to slash a painting- be proud, stand up, slash the painting while screaming maniacally- Get arrested and make your statement- if you feel that strongly about it. Don't be such a pussy!"

Tel: 212.580.6414 Fax:212.579.1741

Albert Crudo- Pop Icons and other American Dreams…
December 9 - August 25, 2005 at La Fenice, 2012 Broadway, New York NY 10023 - 212.579.6132

To view The Nature of the Beast visit the 'Forces of Nature' gallery at

Photos submited by Albert Crudo

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