Naked man in a box who crashed the Met gala is arrested

The Russian performance artist targets high-profile art events in his Foundling series


A naked Russian performance artist had himself encased in a transparent plastic box and dropped on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum last night while celebrities arrived on the red carpet for the Costume Institute’s annual gala. He was arrested by polices and is facing charges of public lewdness, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, according to the New York Daily News.

In a video posted on his Facebook profile, Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich is shown being bolted into the clear case, lifted out of the backseat of an SVU and left at the entrance to the museum fundraiser, while a pack of well-dressed but utterly bemused guests look on. Guards quickly covered the box with a white sheet and dragged it away, while firefighters later arrived to cut Pavlov-Andreevich out of the container.

The piece was the fifth in a series of performances called Foundling, which the artist has previously realised at high-profile art events, including during the Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Cini, the opening of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building in Moscow, a Christie’s Vanity Fair party in London and the São Paulo Bienal opening dinner. Some of those performances also resulted in arrests.

According to friends posting on the artist’s Facebook page, Pavlov-Andreevich is still awaiting a court hearing to see what he will be charged with. “If anyone cares about the box’s fate, it’s under arrest as well,” the post reads. “After all, it took part in all five performances and has quite travelled around the world.”