By Henri Neuendorf, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 original article here.
The Danish-Chilean artist Marco Evaristti was arrested in Iceland after local landowners accused him of vandalism for dyeing the Strokkur geyser pink, the Daily Mail reported.
The artist poured red fruit-based food coloring into the famous hot springs located 70 miles northeast of Reykjavik, causing the geyser to erupt in plumes of bright pink water and steam.
Speaking on behalf of the local landowners, Garðar Eiríksson said “This is not art. I am deeply sorry that a visitor to our country comes up with such an idea. I have very few words to describe my disgust at these actions.”
“Nature belongs to no one,” Evaristti insisted. “I do what I do because I’m a painter, a landscape painter who doesn’t use a canvas, I paint directly on nature.”
“I believe in freedom of speech and I believe nature doesn’t belong to certain people, but to everyone,” he argued, adding, “I love mother nature. If I love a woman I give her a diamond ring. That’s why I decorate nature, because I love it.
Unfortunately for Evaristti, Icelandic authorities did not agree with his point of view. The stunt landed the Copenhagen-based artist behind bars for two weeks. (See 7 Artists Arrested For Their Art).
This is the fifth time the artist has dyed natural waters, having performed a similar installation at a frozen waterfall in Norway last year.
Iceland cut its arts funding in half last year, causing widespread condemnation from the small country’s artistic community (see Uproar After Iceland Cuts Arts Funding in Half).
Locals may not like the pink steam, but will they give as bad reviews if a Björk exhibition heads to their country? (See Reykjavík Mayor Wants MoMA Björk Show To Be Reconstituted in Iceland).