It’s no surprise that people sometimes “don’t get it” when valuable artwork is displayed.

Does it call to you? Can you put a price on it? Does the piece inspire you?

It inspired a South Korean couple to, unintentionally, put a much smaller price on a painting. The pair added a few touches to the $440,000 piece, assuming it was OK to engage in a form of creativity.

“They thought they were allowed to do that as participatory art and made a mistake,” said Kang Wook, head of the exhibition at Seoul’s Lotte World Mall, in a Reuters story. 

The damaged 95-by-275-inch untitled piece was painted by Paris-based artist JonOne, who is Harlem-born John Andrew Perello.

The artwork was done before a live audience in 2016.

The couple can’t be fully blamed, however, as the piece was displayed in a manner that could well be interpreted as – well, as the way the South Korean couple interpreted it.

Arranged in front were the paint cans and brushes used in its creation. You know, because that adds to its impact. 


Gallery staff noticed new swipes of dark green to the right of center last Sunday. After checking the security camera, two suspects were taken by the police for investigation.

The agency is negotiating with the artist to take appropriate steps.

“We called the police immediately and talked to the insurance company for the damaged artwork,” Kang told ABC News. “But as the agency in charge, we will do best to minimize the harm to the couple who unintentionally vandalized the work.”

JonOne received France’s 2015 Legion of Honor in the culture and communications category.

In the meantime, the caretakers have cordoned off the exhibit with wire fencing and put up a “Do Not Touch” sign.

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