Some people will do anything to get into the Met Gala, the premiere benefit event of the spring season in New York City. At Monday’s celebrity-filled gala, Russian performance artist Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich arrived nude in a clear fiberglass box. Two assistants delivered him to the red carpet and split, leaving bewildered security agents to figure out how to handle the unusual party-crasher while VIPs milled about, camera phones in hand. After several moments of confusion, agents covered Pavlov-Andreevich’s box under a white sheet and slid it away from the gala’s entrance.
The artist was subsequently arrested, according to the New York Daily News and the Art Newspaper. He has since been released but faces charges that include disorderly conduct, public lewdness, and criminal trespass. The NYPD is reportedly holding onto the clear box used in the performance.
“If anyone cares about the box'[s] fate, it’s under arrest as well,” a post on the artist’s Facebook wall reads. “After all, it took part in all five performances and has quite travelled around the world.”
The Met Gala stunt is the latest in a series of unsanctioned performance art pieces titled Foundling that Pavlov-Andreevich began in 2015, when he was delivered to collector François Pinault’s Venetian palazzo during the Venice Biennale. Subsequent iterations have occurred at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Christie’s in London, and last year’s São Paulo Bienal. Though his antics might have been particularly outlandish in those settings, conspicuous stretches of exposed skin are not exactly novel at the Met Gala. In fact, in 2014, another uninvited reveler arrived in nearly nothing — he was also denied entrance.
As many have pointed out, Pavlov-Andreevich’s performance was in fact very much in keeping with the theme of this year’s Met Gala, which was the avant-garde couture of Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons, which are the subjects of the museum’s new Costume Institute exhibition.