Marcus Harvey - “Myra”
In 1997 Marcus Harvey’s portrait of Myra Hindley (convicted of participating in the Moors Murders) was included in Charles Saatchi’s notorious “Sensation” exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London. It’s inclusion in the show caused a great deal of controversy in the press, several Royal Academicians resigned at its inclusion and the gallery windows were broken in protest.
The work was created using casts of an infant’s hand to build up a mosaic of black, grey and white handprints, to recreate the iconic police photograph taken after her arrest in 1965.
The painting was vandalized twice, by two different artists, on the opening day of the exhibition. In the first attack, artist Peter Fisher smuggled blue and red ink into the exhibition, concealed inside two camera film cases, threw the ink over the painting and smeared it in.
After witnessing the first attack, artist Jacques Role bought six eggs from a shop across the street, returned to the exhibition and threw four of the eggs at the painting before being stopped by an off-duty police officer. The painting was removed, restored and rehung two weeks later behind a protective perspex screen.