Last week, Danny Bowien commissioned the street artist Bradley Theordore to paint a colorful yet skeletal profile of Frida Kahlo on the wall outside his acclaimed Mission Cantina on the Lower East Side. The artwork was completed, but Theodore was allegedly incensed by management’s complaint that his email address appeared in prominent lettering as part of his signature over Kahlo’s head in the piece, so he decided to destroy it. Theodore claims he returned to Orchard Street and ran a roller of blue paint over the thing last week, Bowery Boogie reports, all in protest. “[I wasn’t] trying to advertise my services, I just wanted to paint and share it with my friends. And the world,” he tells the blog.
Theodore, who’s painted similar portraits of Karl Lagerfeld and Terry Richardson on other walls around town, says that Mission Cantina does not deserve his art. “Some people do not want to give recognition to artist, and to them I say look at a blank wall!” He posted to Instagram, accompanying a photo of a blue-washed wall.
But the chef indicates there has been a misunderstanding, tweeting that the prominent placement of Theodore’s email address “wasn’t part of the agreement,” nor was it included in the sketch that he presented for approval. Bowien notes that the restaurant also paid for the mural. “Either way,” he writes, “no hard feelings on our part.”