Carmen Tisch provoked to butt-rubbing, urinating by Clyfford Still painting

Categories: Colorado Crimes

carmen tisch mug shot cropped.jpg
Big photos below.
Every artist wants viewers to react to their work. In that sense, Carmen Tisch appears to be a dream come true -- albeit one that turned nightmarish.

Tisch is accused of scratching, punching, rubbing her butt against and urinating near a Clyfford Still painting valued at more than $30 million.

clyfford still photo.jpg
Clyfford Still.
November marked the grand opening of the Clyfford Still Museum, a facility devoted to the life and work of the U.S.-born abstract-expressionist, who died in 1980. While Still isn't nearly as well known as Jackson Pollock, with whom he's frequently (and superficially) compared, his bold and often big canvases are beloved by critics and adventurous art aficionados alike.

Among the highlights of the Denver collection is a work with the very Still-like moniker "1957-J-No. 2." As noted by the Denver Post, it's approximately nine-and-a-half feet by thirteen feet in size. Here's a look at it:

clyfford still 1957 j no 2.jpg
1957-J-No. 2.
Tisch had quite a reaction to this piece, according to the statement of probable cause on view below. Around 3:40 p.m. on December 29, the report says Tisch scratched the canvas, then struck it repeatedly before leaning against it with her pants down. She then slid to the floor and urinated.

No, none of her yellow-colored liquid actually wound up on the painting. But the cost for restoring the canvas to its former glory is estimated at $10,000. As for why Tisch acted as she did, she's thought to have been drunk -- meaning the answers may have already run down her leg.

The Denver District Attorney's Office has formally charged Tisch with criminal mischief. She's due at the courthouse tomorrow. With luck, the paintings on display there will be more to her liking.

Look below to see a bigger version of Tisch's mug shot, as well as the statement of probable cause.

carmen tisch mug shot.jpg
Carmen Tisch.

Carmen Tisch Probable Cause Statement

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More from our News archive: "Jesus receiving oral sex?: Woman attacks 'Romantic Cannibals' amid art vs. porn debate."

My Voice Nation Help

I read on a different article that she was drunk and falling and that another person tried to keep her from falling by grabbing her by the pants which caused the pants to fall down, etc.  I am not sure that I buy this story, but, with the way pants are already almost falling off many women today anyway, it is plausible.

Lazar 1 Like

Way to go Carmen! Contemporary art museums are insulting, offensive and disgusting, pooping on all the art greatness and civilized efforts of the past. And then they have to rub it in with "multimillion worth" of the crap they show. Carmen's act is nothing but appropriate and well deserved response to what is going on in the art world today. I don't do what she did, but I definitely feel the same way.  

Jared Sloger
Jared Sloger 1 Like

To a degree I can understand her conduct.  My 2 year old nephew could paint that with his barf  or other various bodily substances. to say that goes for 30 million is ridiculous. I don't care how big it is but to me it lowers the standards of art.  If something like that can be worth that much, what's the point in attaining to greatness? It's spitting in the face of millions who are striving for greatness themselves.


But you're a moron, so your opinion on art doesn't matter.


Another thing that is sad is how illegible and unintelligible the police report was! Did the reporting officer even pass the 4th grade? I magnified it as much as I could and still can't understand all of it. How can the City of Denver use that as evidence?

Poopsie 1 Like

It’s not particularly surprising to see a museum react unfavorably to a neo-Dadaist's performance art. Admittedly Carmen's performance could have used more panache, but I give her a 7 out of 10.

Aimless Rambler
Aimless Rambler 1 Like

If art is suppose to enact a unique response during contemplation, beyond the aesthetic and invoke emotion, maybe she was just expressing her inner most feelings! OR It's just performance art on abstract expressionism! What a concept!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts 1 Like

Love the post, Aimless Rambler. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats, and thanks for reading.

Aimless Rambler
Aimless Rambler 1 Like

"If art is suppose to enact a unique response during contemplation, beyond the aesthetic and invoke emotion, maybe she was just expressing her inner most feelings!" OR "It's just performance art on abstract expressionism! What a concept!!" 

justaskin' 1 Like

No word as to 'why'?  Is this some kind of OWSer gone rogue?

namijoh 1 Like

I need something that will look good on my mug shot. Got it! How 'bout a giant diamond with those shiny rays coming off of it right on my chest!

Private 1 Like

perhaps someone may be offended by the poor art in her tattoos and do the same thing to her canvas?

Jde383 1 Like

A little urn and poop would brighten the masterpiece up.


Just looking at her picture tells me she does not make good decisions.


We should start vocational training in tattoo removal across Denver. 

Fabio 1 Like

Maybe they should keep the drunken street monkeys out of museums.


stay classy denver

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