Christopher Wool “Untitled 2004″ / knife

In May 2017, this wall-sized painting was punctured with a knife while on view at Aspen’s Opera Gallery.

An unknown man wearing sunglasses, a hat and a full beard entered the gallery (after stopping the door to prevent being locked inside), made a beeline for the painting and slashed the canvas twice with a knife or razor blade before running out. No motive is apparent, and no arrests have been made. The gallery’s owner said he has no idea what prompted the vandalism, but in recent weeks had received three suspicious calls from a man using a blocked phone number asking if the gallery had a Wool painting.

The painting itself was damaged beyond repair, though it still hangs in the gallery. It was being sold on consignment, he said.

“On it’s face, it’s extremely suspicious,” Aspen Police Detective Jeff Fain said. “There has to be a reason someone would want to destroy this painting.”

Christopher Schreck