Renowned Parisian street artist Zevs was arrested in Hong Kong on Monday, July 13 following the symbolic defacing of a flagship Giorgio Armani boutique.
Zevs and two others were taken into custody after painting a gushing, liquidated Chanel logo across the building's façade. The guerrilla artwork, said to represent the war of brands, has yet again caused heated debate over the fine line between art and vandalism.
In a press release, Zevs said he has pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage. In response, Armani is claiming HK$6,746,000 in damages ($860,000 in US dollars) to replace part of the building's sandstone exterior.
Zevs assures the dripping icon is far from permanent. The artist says he took special care to use children's washable paint, and that more delicate surfaces in places like Berlin, Paris and New York have come clean without issue.
Since the early 1990s, Zevs' influential graffiti has playfully attacked the world's most contemptible corporations. In addition to liquidating popular logos, he has been known to "kidnap" models from billboards and decorate filthy urban surfaces with pressurized water.
The prankster was arrested on the eve of his opening at the Art Statements Gallery in Hong Kong, where many of his iconic works are now on display. Zevs' sentence will be read on August 14. For the time being, a white plastic tarp covers the dissolving Chanel logo.
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