John Lennon stubbed a cigarette out on a Henri Matisse painting while drunk at the Playboy Mansion, causing the painting to increase in value from its $15m price.
Students at Oberlin College can rent original paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Dalí (among others) to hang in their dorm rooms for $5 per semester. On top of the $5 each student has to cough up, only a minimal liability agreement is signed, although the full consequences for damaging a work are unknown to the renters.
There is the art movement called Accidentalism, in which a portrait is painted first, and only after the work is done a person is looked for that looks like the one in the painting. There are still portraits that have not found a subject yet.
After cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh painted a portrait of the doctor who treated him, then gave it to the doctor. The doctor hated it and used it to repair a chicken coop before giving it away. It’s now worth $50 million.
The figure in “The Scream” isn’t actually screaming; he’s listening to a scream passing through nature.
The mysterious baroque painter Johannes Gumpp is known to have painted only one self portrait which also happens to be a triple self portrait in which he appears from behind painting his own face reflected in a mirror.
Belgian artist Mikes Poppe recently chained himself to a four-ton block of marble and then attempted to free himself by chiseling away at it. His goal was to demonstrate how the “inescapable burden of history” imprisons artists.
Nineteen days later he gave up and asked to be freed, admitting that he had “underestimated the marble.” Despite this, he said, “I don’t see that as a failure… On the contrary. I have been able to communicate with the public. I am now going to read the many comments in the guestbook and take a warm bath.”