Artists Stole Bits of Art from Museums, No One Noticed

05.17.10 Marina Galperina

Eva and Franco Mattes stole more than a few famous art pieces from major museums all over the world in the mid-90s. They lifted small art-parts: a peeled off manufacturer’s label from Jeff Koons’ basketball aquarium, some threads from an Andy Warhol, a porcelain chip from a Marcel Duchamp “Fountain” urinal, etc.

The Italian artist couple (aka 0100101110101101.org) don’t think they’re vandals.

[This is] absolutely not vandalism. I thought it was the greatest tribute I could ever pay to these artists. I loved them. We thought we were giving new life to these works — bringing them back to life from the grave of the museum.

The crafty twosome are displaying their loot at the Postmasters Gallery, along with video of their most recent heist at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, Italy and before-and-after stills of some of the works they partially robbed. Their exhibit ‘reality is overrated’ also includes installation views of their suicide hanging performance on ChatRoulette.

“Reality is Overrated,” Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.org, May 15 – Jun 19, Postmasters Gallery, NYC