Canadian blood artist, Istvan Kantor, hits Jeff Koons exhibit

Self-proclaimed art critic, Istvan Kantor, appears to have targeted the Jeff Koons retrospective at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photos show man standing in front of red 'X' spattered in New York's Whitney Museum

Photos posted on Facebook by photographer Antoine Lutens, appear to show Istvan Kantor (also known as Monty Cantsin) posing in front of a blood-red 'X' at the Whitney Museums' Jeff Koons exhibit. (Facebook/Antoine S. Lutens)

Canadian performance artist and self-described critic Istvan Kantor appears to have struck again, targeting the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Photos posted Wednesday on the Facebook page of photographer Antoine Lutens appear to show Kantor (who also calls himself Monty Cantsin) posing in front of a blood-red "X" behind Koons's famous Rabbit sculpture.

No art was damaged, but the message "Monty Cantsin was here" was scrawled in black marker on the wall.

Istvan Kantor, seen here in an image from his website is reportedly banned from the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (istvankantor.com)
​According to a report in the New York Times, security quickly apprehended the man, and he was taken to hospital for evaluation.

It's certainly not the first time Kantor has shocked people with his infamous Blood Campaign. Kantor started working with the bodily fluid in 1979. But he achieved notoriety a decade latergetting drops of blood on Picasso’s Girl With A Mirror in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

His reputation has earned him bans from a number of the world's top museums, including the National Gallery of Canada.

In an excerpt from his manuscript on his website, the Toronto-based artist describes his motivation: 

"I give them beautiful gifts, but they don't seem to appreciate my generous gestures. They destroy my works and put me in prison. However, in spite of all, I'm confident that one day they will be enlightened and they will love me for what I have done."   

In 2004, he was awarded the Governor General's Award for visual and media arts.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?