Restoration of $400,000 Painting in Seoul Sparks Debate

A visitor looks at the graffiti artwork by New York-based artist Jon One, Seoul, South Korea, April 2, 2021. Reuters

The American graffiti artist known as JonOne found himself in a very confusing situation. While attending an art exhibition in Seoul, one of his artwork was mistakenly defaced, but the company that organized the event refused to compensate him, saying the distortion added value to the painting.

According to the German news agency (dpa), a young couple accidentally made the painting (7 × 2.3 meters) unrecognizable by adding small green spots of color at the end of March. The couple assumed the painting was a participatory work for visitors to contribute to.

However, the company that organized the exhibition turned down the idea of ​​removing the unwanted stains that distorted the work, valued at over $ 400,000. “Many social media users said the stains were an integral part of the job,” said Jiyoon Son, manager of Seoul-based Content Creators of Culture.

She added that her company is trying to convince American graffiti artist John Andrew Perello (known as JonOne) not to restore the painting, called “Untitled”.

It would cost around 10 million won ($ 8,900) to restore the work, she noted.

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