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Last Updated: Monday, 24 November, 2003, 12:46 GMT
Paint attack comedian jailed
Aaron Barschak
Barschak said he was "collaborating" with the artist
Self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak has been jailed for 28 days for hurling paint over a Turner Prize-nominated artist.

Barschak, 37, from Golders Green, north London, claimed he was collaborating with artist Jake Chapman and denied causing criminal damage at the Modern Art Oxford gallery on 30 May.

Oxford Magistrates' Court found him guilty of causing criminal damage on 30 October.

Barschak, who notoriously gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday at Windsor Castle earlier this year, dressed as Osama bin Laden, was sentenced at the magistrates' court on Monday.

The subject of Barschak's latest exploit was a work by Mr Chapman and his brother, Dinos, called The Rape of Creativity, featuring grotesque cartoon heads superimposed on a series of etchings by the Spanish painter Goya.

District Judge Brian Loosley said Barschak had not helped himself by refusing to pay compensation, estimated at 605, and saying he would only do a community punishment order on his own terms.

Red bowler hat

Mr Loosley said: "It's a serious offence and I have no option other than to send you to prison".

Barschak, who had sat outside the courtroom eating a tube of Smarties and dressed in a shabby suit, purple tie and a bright red bowler hat with the top roughly cut out, came into court barefoot and was immediately told to take off his "hat".

His barrister Ian Sen agreed with the judge that his client had not really helped himself, saying himself that he should be "dealt a short, sharp, shock".

At an earlier hearing, the court was told the paint attack happened during a private talk about Mr Chapman's work at the gallery.

In police interviews after his arrest, he said he had "incorporated" Mr Chapman into a work of art of his own, adding: "I painted him."

When asked why he had thrown the paint, he replied: "I would rather you say I painted rather than I threw the paint."

Aaron Barschak: 'Comedy terrorist'
23 Jun 03  |  Entertainment


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