Vigilante George Zimmerman Arrested Over a Painting

His earlier dabblings in art have been called "murderabilia."

George Zimmerman with his $100,000 painting.
George Zimmerman with his $100,000 painting.

George Zimmerman has run afoul of the law yet again, and this time, it may have been his well-documented love of art that drove him to violence. It’s the third accusation of domestic abuse leveled against the Florida man since July 2013, when he was acquitted of murder in the February 2012 shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin.

The latest incident took place last week at Zimmerman’s Florida home. Police heard glass break shortly before midnight, and saw a car speed out of the driveway with its headlights off. The officer pulled over the vehicle, and found a distraught woman who, according to the police report, “had been in a verbal altercation over a painting with George Zimmerman, and that Zimmerman threw a bottle of wine in her direction when she attempted to leave.”

It is unclear who created the work of art in question, but given that Zimmerman wanted his ex to return it to him, it would seem there’s a good chance that it is one of his original creations. Zimmerman sold his first painting on eBay in December of 2013 for $100,099.99.

Unlike the work of other famous non-artists, such as George W. Bush and Miley Cyrus, which has received at least some kudos (see Exhibition Accomplished! Visiting George W. Bush’s First Museum Show and Jeffrey Deitch Compares “Remarkable” Miley Cyrus to Mike Kelley), Zimmerman’s paintings, a blue canvas featuring the American flag, and a red and orange one depicting the prosecutor in his case, Florida state attorney Angela Corey, have been universally panned. (News reports published on a satire website that Zimmerman had sold a painting of Martin for $30,000 were untrue.)

“Murderbelia”

artnet News’s Christian Viveros-Faune dismissed Zimmerman’s artwork as “murderabilia” in the league of that of serial killer John Wayne Gacy and cult leader Charles Manson. “Just because you get pigment and a canvas or a piece of cloth and you dirty it up doesn’t make it a work of art,” he told TIME.

Who, you might ask, would be foolish to go out with the notorious Zimmerman given his history? This latest victim, whose name has not yet been released, is apparently already regretting her actions, telling police she should have known better to get involved with “that psycho, George Zimmerman.”

The police statement indicates that the couple had dated for two to three months, but she broke things off when “he attempted to take their relationship further than she wanted. . . . It was clear to me that [name redacted] intended to try avoid any type of association with Mr. Zimmerman that would possibly become public at a later time; even if that meant not being an advocated for herself as a potential domestic violence victim.”

Two other woman who have accused Zimmerman of domestic violence, his ex-wife Shellie Zimmerman and ex-girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, have both declined to press charges against him.


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