Bizarre act vandalism of art in San Francisco bar sparks questions

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Operators of a San Francisco bar that features art exhibits are wondering whether after a bizarre incident that was caught on video was an out-of-control art critic or a public relations stunt. (KGO-TV )

Operators of a San Francisco bar that features art exhibits are wondering whether after a bizarre incident that was caught on video was an out-of-control art critic, or a public relations stunt.

Surveillance video shows a person in a hoodie walking into Madrone's Art Bar. He looks around and then pounces, destroying photographs from an exhibit hanging on the wall.

Richard Woodruff was the bartender on duty at the time. "Grabs a photo, throws it on the ground. That's when my attention got caught," Woodruff said. "That's when I yelled 'hey, you can't do that.'"


He did more than just yell. Woodruff chased the person out of the bar. "I got his sweatshirt," Woodruff said. "I stepped on his shoe and lost my footing. He got out the back door."

The work being shown was not about shoes, but gloves. Photographs of single gloves in different settings by a mysterious and eccentric artist named Sawyer Forbes. There isn't much information about Forbes online, not even his or her picture. But he or she reportedly has a history of provocative acts involving artistic displays, which might lead inquiring minds to wonder if this all could have been some elaborate publicity stunt by Forbes.

"Just that it's the end of the show, publicity," Woodruff said.

The vandal was smart, or lucky enough to pick a day when Lenny, the bar's huge four- legged bouncer had the day off.

Madrone put video of the incident on its Facebook page, prompting a response from someone who claims to be Sawyer Forbes denying that he was responsible. It reads in part: "I choose to make my statements by creating great art, not destroying it."

There was word on the monetary value of the damaged work. Mystery unsolved.
Related Topics:
newsartcrimevandalismbarsurveillancesurveillance videoSan Francisco
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