Istvan Kantor

Toronto artist paints with blood at Jeff Koons exhibit

Toronto artist Istvan Kantor aka Monty Cantsin, who will always be the eying you up and down and mentally declaring himself more punk than you, has struck again with his "Blood Campaign," this time leaving a giant bloody "X" and a "Monty Cantsin was here" at the Whitney Museum's Jeff Koons retrospective in New York. As always, he also left a manifesto declaring his blood a "supreme gift."

Kantor was captured posing between a Koons sculpture and his bloodied wall with childlike glee on Wednesday by photographer Antoine S Lutens before security dragged him out. Several shots are, naturally, blocked by people's smart phones. None of Koons' works were bloodied. According to the NY Post, Kantor was taken to a New York hospital for "psych evaluation" and later released with no charges.

Governor General's Award winner Kantor's most notorious Blood work involved exchanging fluids with a Picasso painting at the MOMA. Kantor once told Brooklyn Rail: " I can't just go to the museum and cut my veins. I collect the blood in tubes before going to the museum" which admittedly may not seem that hardcore, but who among us regularly bleeds into a beaker for art (no disrespect/shout out to the world's life saving variety of blood donors).

One of the worst articles I've ever read about art is about Kantor. In it, Joe Fiorito meets (discovers) Kantor at a bus stop and becomes so enamoured with his quirky #artlife that he proclaims, "I love art." Kantor's dedication to leaning into his madness may always inspire these feelings in Star writers and some art fans, but we've got to ask ourselves why anyone would host a Koons retrospective in the first place.

Photo: Antoine S Lutens


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