Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Mustang Has Better Security

This is not good news from the art world. A Picasso painting and one by Candido Portinari were stolen from the Art Museum of Sao Paolo. Authorities think it was a hired theft since only these two paintings were stolen in the early morning hours. The thieves broke through a glass door that had no alarms, busted another door, and stole the paintings while security cameras recorded only activity that happened outside the building.

If you think this is just an isolated case of art theft by a careless museum, well it isn't. Slack security was the reason the Mona Lisa was lifted from the Louvre. In the United States there have been multiple acts of valuable art being stolen from museums that lacked even an alarm. I guess museums are betting these pieces are too well known to be stolen and marketed; but this casual attitude ignores the type of collector whom is suspected to be behind the theft in Sao Paolo, a wealthy private individual who wants the paintings for himself and has no urge to sell them on the open market.

1 comment:

paintyoga said...

I need your help . I need your help in catching the thief of my artwork. My name is Suzanne Stryker.

This is the second time a painting of mine was stolen from my art exhibits this year – both were stolen from my solo shows at Entree CafĂ© Gallery in Fairfield Iowa, USA, which is in a busy section of town right across from the post office.

What gallery in a small town in America has been robbed twice?
Normally paintings aren’t stolen until the artist is dead and the painting is worth a few million!

The paintings were uninsured. This is an unusual crime the first time and certainly the second time. I feel slapped and deeply complimented twice!

Perhaps I have the record for most number of paintings stolen in nine months.

This is different than having a painting or a TV stolen out of your home - you didn’t create it. You are just annoyed because it has a value. So do these paintings. To the extent that an artist gives birth to a painting, the thief of these paintings approaches kidnapping. They are my personal creations that I have labored over, - they are like my children. This is how I make my living.

The first painting that was stolen took longer than nine months to create. - I started it seven years ago and just finished it this year. Both paintings are the result of years of studying and practice. I started doing art around age ten, when my school had me do three twenty-foot murals depicting historical events. I studied art in college.

I am pleading for the thief to communicate with me – I just want to know that my babies are ok. He/she could write to me: Suzanne Stryker, 2532 Glasgow Road, Fairfield, Iowa 52556 or email me at paintyoga@yahoo.com. He could email me from library or somewhere where it could not be traced. I am not trying to trick the thief - I want him/her to know that I will drop the charges if he/she returns the paintings – just mail the paintings to the above address. Paintings are delicate so they need to be carefully packaged in thick layers of bubble wrap and double boxed.

Here's why I think you can help me: The theory is that the thief does not live in Fairfield because her/she could not display or sell the paintings without them being recognized.

Here’s how you could help me: spread the word that two paintings have been stolen, and ask if they have seen the stolen paintings anywhere or have any clues to please call me at 641-472-7767 or email me at paintyoga@yahoo.com.
I posted pictures of the stolen paintings on my website www.paintyoga.com so people could see them again if they run across the paintings at a later date and they can email me from my website.

1) First painting stolen. (Colorful Abstract Acrylic Painting about 14 x 16 inches included the custom made gold frame. $500 value. Why did the thief steal that painting and not a nearby more traditional oil painting of the same size that was priced twice as high? Was this due to personal preference or professional incompetence? Art Theft 101 would tell you to steal the most valuable paintings.)

2) Second painting stolen. (Delicate Watercolor of a Peach and Red Peony, measuring about 10 inches by 12 inches, including the white mat and silver frame. $200 Value.)

The policeman who I filed the report with, Patrolman Squires, phone number 641-472-4146 said that he can't speak with the media. He said the county attorney, Tim Dille, 641-472-9201, handles the media. But when I spoke with county attorney, he said that he wouldn't talk to the media about this case. You can try but it sounded like it would be a waste of your time.

I didn't want to go to the police, but daily newspapers here wouldn't cover the story unless I filed a report. I would hate to see the thief go to prison for this because he appreciates my art enough to take the risk of spending five years in jail and having this go on his record permanently. I want to give the thief a chance - I found out today that I am not required to press charges if I or anyone else except the police find the thief or if he returns the paintings.

The total value for all of the paintings in my solo show where the first painting was stolen was about $11,100. The total value for all of the paintings in my solo show where the second painting was stolen was about $10,000.

Because this is such an unusual and personal theft, it brings up many thoughts and questions: Who would do such a thing and why & so forth. I have more information about this, if you are interested please email me or call me at 641-472-7767.

I hope you can get the word out as quickly as possible.
All I want for Christmas are my two paintings back.

Here are some of the A.P. links:

Suzanne Stryker