Performance artist Marina Abramović has met with a man who attacked her with a portrait of herself in Florence on the weekend. According to the New York Times, she was leaving a book signing at the Palazzo Strozzi, which is playing host to a retrospective of her work, when she was hit over the head with the paper portrait.
Abramović told newspaper La Reppublica that, when she saw the man coming, she initially assumed he was offering her the picture as a gift. “In a split second I saw his expression change and become violent, coming towards me very quickly and forcefully,” she said. “The dangers always come very quickly, like death itself.”
According to Abramović, the first thing she did after recovering from the shock was speak to the man, identified by Artnet News as a 51-year-old Czech national living and working as an artist in Florence and named as Vaclav Pisvejc by the NYT. When she asked why the man did what he did, he told her that he “had to do it for [his] art.”
Part of the attack was captured by someone filming from the crowd:
Abramović has not pressed charges so far.