UPDATE: That didn't take long. Friday, the Houston Police Department charged Landeros with criminal mischief and felony graffiti. Police are seeking the public's help in finding him. Steve Jansen reported on Tuesday that evidence was building against Landeros. From HPD's press release:
Twenty two year old Uriel Landeros, was charged with Criminal Mischief and Felony Graffiti, both third degree felonies. Landeros is described as a white male, standing 5'8", weighing 180 lbs. Anyone with information about the location of Uriel Landeros is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
So, if you see him...
Most street artists prefer to remain relatively anonymous. Some of it is for credibility, but much is for safety, as their art is often at odds with local authorities, as examined in the local documentary film Stick 'Em Up and profiled in our feature story "Up from the Underground." That doesn't appear to be the case for Uriel Landeros, who apparently is pretty damn proud of his alleged recent defacing of the Pablo Picasso painting "Woman in a Red Armchair."
According to reports and a video posted to YouTube, the artist allegedly entered the Menil Collection and stenciled a bullfighter killing a bull and the word "Conquista" on the painting. The Chron reports that the paint was barely dry before being rushed to the Menil's repair expert, Brad Epley.
Amazingly, a witness told KPRC Channel 2 that he confronted the artist and was told he was "an up-and-coming Mexican-American artist" and this was a tribute to Picasso's work, which is repeated on the YouTube page for the original video.
The video shows someone quickly stenciling on the painting and exiting in a hurry. The YouTube page states:
Young Mexican-American artist URIEL LANDEROS, paints a stencil of a bullfighter killing a bull over an original 1929 Picasso painting in Houston TX.
**In Dedication to the art beast Pablo Picasso**
Landeros's Facebook page features the Channel 2 story, posted on his wall Monday afternoon. If he truly was the guy who stenciled the Picasso, he certainly isn't concerned about the public knowing it.