Artist Destroys Hundreds Of Rolex Watches For Controversial Art Piece

“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.”

A woman in high heels stomps on a pile of expensive watches.

Well-known Los Angeles-based, Ireland-born photographer Tony Kelly’s most recent piece of art has made more than a few watch fans squirm.

The piece, titled BREAKUP, features both stills and video of an unseen woman wearing red high heels stomping on and destroying hundreds of high-end watches, with her stiletto heel shattering in-demand models such as Rolex GMT-Master ‘Pepsis’, Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks and even a Patek Philippe Nautilus ‘Tiffany Dial’.

Kelly explains that the work is inspired “by the sensational breakup between the Italian legendary footballer Francesco Totti and his wife,” elaborating:

“Items once exchanged as declarations of love become daggers used in a legal tug of war. I am fascinated how quickly context can changes everything when it comes to expensive diamonds, watches, cars and bags. These much-coveted luxuries become toxic very quickly when love and lust fizzle out!”

Tony Kelly

It’s a visually striking piece of art, but one that would easily put any watch enthusiast’s teeth on edge. Watch Tony Kelly’s BREAKUP below.

Now, before you start clutching your pearls, those watches are almost certainly fake. For one, it would be very hard to shatter a Patek or Rolex’s crystal just by stomping on them with heels like that: the sapphire crystal that high-end watch crystals are made of is extremely tough.

More relevantly, if those watches were real, Kelly would have had to have forked out tens of millions of dollars to afford them. The Tiffany Nautilus alone is worth anywhere between US$275,000 and $6.5 million…

RELATED: $6.5 Million ‘Tiffany Patek’ Auction Proves The Watch World Has Lost Its Marbles

This isn’t the first time Kelly has destroyed a high-end watch for art’s sake. In 2019, he produced a similar piece called Gold Digger, which showed a woman with candy red nails holding a broken Rolex Day-Date ‘President’, prints of which can be purchased from his website. It’s not clear whether that Rolex was fake, either.

Gold Digger, Tony Kelly, 2019.

Francesco Totti, the inspiration for BREAKUP, is one of the most famous football players of all time. The 46-year-old striker married Ilary Blasi, a former showgirl and TV host in 2005: the couple has often been referred to as the “Italian Beckhams” thanks to the obsession Italian tabloids and paparazzi have had with them.

Earlier this year in July, the pair announced their divorce, after Totti allegedly caught Blasi cheating on him with a younger man – which then prompted him to start seeing a younger woman, too.

It’s the pettiness of their divorce that has inspired Kelly. According to Corriere della Sera, Blasi took some of Totti’s Rolexes and in retaliation, Totti took some of her designer handbags. How charming.

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